Friday, January 2, 2015

State finalizes sale of Rainbow Mental Health Facility to KU Endowment

By Dave Ranney
KHI News Service

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — State officials have sold the former Rainbow Mental Health Facility building to the University of Kansas Endowment Association.

The 11-acre property is a short distance from KU Medical Center.

“The transaction has occurred,” said Natalie Lutz, director of communications at the medical center. “The KU Endowment Association has purchased the building and will be meeting with the university to determine what the actual purpose of the property is going to be.”

Lutz said Friday she was not in a position to comment on the final sale price or how the property might be developed.

The Kansas State Finance Council, a nine-member panel that includes Gov. Sam Brownback and House and Senate leadership, in November agreed to sell the property for $1.9 million.

Proceeds from the sale are to be deposited in the State General Fund and credited to the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.

Since April, the two-story building has housed Rainbow Services Inc. (RSI), a short-term crisis stabilization and detox facility. RSI has a three-year lease and is not expected to move for one or two more years.

Rainbow Mental Health Facility had been a state-run, 50-bed hospital for people with severe mental illnesses. It opened in 1974.

State officials closed 14 of the hospital’s 50 beds in December 2010 after federal surveyors cited the facility for being understaffed. A year later, 28 of the remaining 36 beds were closed due to safety concerns cited by state fire marshal’s office.