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Former Kansas City Mayor Honored With 'Kay Barnes Grand Ballroom'

Members of the Heartland Men's Chorus unveil the new name of the Grand Ballroom at the Kansas City Convention Center.

Kay Barnes served as Mayor of Kansas City for two terms, from 1999-2007. Her name is now affixed to the Grand Ballroom at the Kansas City Convention Center.

The convention center sits between the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and Municipal Auditorum, spanning Interstate 635 near Downtown Kansas City. In a ceremony Friday morning, the ballroom's new name was unveiled along with a bronze statue titled "Woman Walking Tall," by metro-area artist Tom Corbin.

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Former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes walks toward the stage at the ceremony renaming the Kansas City Convention Center's ballroom after her.

Barnes is credited with revitalizing Downtown Kansas City by leading the charge on development of the Sprint Center and the Power and Light District.

"Certainly, what we have now goes beyond what I thought possible initially," Barnes said. "It's very exciting to see not only the specific projects I was involved with, but all the additional buildings, venues, activities, people living and working here."

Speakers at the ceremony included Barnes, her friend Linda Moore and current Mayor Sly James. The Heartland Men's Chorus (for which Barnes serves on the board of directors) sang two songs, including "Everything's Up To Date In Kansas City."

Former Mayors Richard Berkley and Charles Wheeler were in attendance.

Since the end of her time as mayor, Barnes has worked at Park University.

Nicolas Telep is KCUR's morning news intern. You can follow him on Twitter @NDTelep.

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