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Rosedale Homeowner To Expanding KU Hospital: 'I'm Going To Be Part Of The Landscape'

Laura Ziegler
Linda Mawby is content to stay in her historic home while KU Hospital grows around her.

If you’ve driven down State Line Road just north of 39th Street recently, you’ve seen the bustling construction under way. It’s a multi-million dollar addition to the University of Kansas Hospital that will include new beds, department offices and operating rooms.

And right there in the middle of the humming machinery and hard-hatted workers is Linda Mawby’s house.

Before construction began, Mawby told me no amount of new construction would cause her to move. No financial offer from the hospital, she says, would be enough for her to abandon the historic home and yard she's lovingly restored.

Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR
Mawby spends as much time outside early in the morning and after work hours, when it's quieter.

As construction continues, her house is increasingly obscured by concrete trucks and high walls

I sat down with Mawby to see what it is like living in a construction zone and ask if she had a change of heart.

Interview highlights:

What’s it like living here now with all the construction all around you? It’s a lot different than it was the last time I was here.

It’s still fine. Everyone’s really nice. We wave to each other. They keep me informed about things I need to know, like if they’re going to start really early, like at six o'clock with the bright lights.

Do you feel like you're super accommodating?

Well, sure. But they’re very nice too. They’ve worked with me. They put a fencing around me. They put in another access for me when they took away my access (driveway).

You’re going to stay until the very end, with multi-story buildings and new hospital all around you and your little house with you in it, right? 

Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR
The construction workers have been kind and helpful, Mawby says.

That's gonna be way down the road ‘til they get it all done. They’re just doing the big building on the one block to my south. Then, who knows how long it’s really gonna be before they add on to make the full length that goes down to 36th. That could be years. (But) I’m gonna be part of their landscaping. That’s what it looks like from their plans.

Is the hospital trying to get you to sell?  No. They know I’m going to stay.

Is there anything that would make you move?

If I die ... then, the family would do whatever. (My sister) would probably sell it so she could buy a house for her and her son and the kids.

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