“A love developed, and a vision developed, and I knew that one day I wanted these stairs to be redeveloped into something that would be special for the east side of Kansas City, for the alumni of Paseo High School, for the current students, and for the community in general,” Goode said.
Goode is working to bring his vision to life. His goal is to create a free outdoor fitness destination and multi-purpose site so more Kansas City residents enjoy the area much like he did growing up. There are very few free opportunities for outdoor fitness in the east side of Kansas City, and Goode hopes that the stairs can be a place that brings all walks of life together, helping to create a vibrancy in this neighborhood that is often overlooked for investment. He believes the Paseo Stairs can become an iconic destination, like the famous Rocky Steps outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, or the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado. Goode believes the healthier the city becomes, the better its residents will be, and there are quite a few people who agree with him.
Populous, along with the City of Kansas City, Missouri, Rockhurst University, Kansas City Public Schools, Kansas City Parks and Recreation, and GEHA have joined forces with Goode to revitalize the area, starting with a massive cleanup campaign along the steps. The first cleanup event was in October 2019, and there have been a couple more events since then. In addition to cleanup efforts, Populous is donating design services so Goode can start fundraising efforts as a next step.
“We’re only as strong as our surrounding community,” said Bruce Miller, Americas Managing Director for Populous. “The Paseo Stairs are located just down the road from our Kansas City headquarters, so it’s exciting to help revitalize an area that is already so well-known to many of us and could help draw even more people together, something that Populous has been in the business of doing for over 40 years.”
Initial plans include resurfacing the iconic steps with shock-absorbent material, reinforcing the stone walls, and adding solar lighting to run alongside the steps, adding public restrooms, building a walking trail, and more. GEHA donated $10,000 as part of their company’s MOVE campaign to encourage employee health, and overall the project has raised approximately $100,000 with companies like Populous donating time, help, and fundraising resources.