Milburn Country Club Reopens After Fire Devastation

Intense work by Helix Architecture & Design and A.L. Huber rejuvenated the damaged club with a 90 year history.

Rebuilding a structure isn’t always by design; sometimes the process takes place out of necessity. A fire devastated the dining room and kitchen of Milburn Country Club’s clubhouse in November 2010, causing extensive damage. Helix Architecture & Design and general contractor A.L. Huber won the bid to rebuild the clubhouse with a history spanning more than 90 years.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new clubhouse took place in March 2012. The pre-construction and construction phases took place over 18 months. The new structure was positioned and built further back on the property, closer to the golf course and away from the previous clubhouse where the fire took place. The 9.8 million dollar project was completed in spring 2013, followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony in mid-May. The club remained open during the construction process.

“The entire process was smooth and seamless,” says Ryan Coffey, project manager for A.L. Huber. “It was the best owner, architect and contractor relationship I’ve experienced in 30 years.”

See the complete set of photos of Milburn Country Club at the KC Magazine Imgur Site.

The rebuilt 33,000-square-foot clubhouse uses materials indigenous to Kansas, such as limestone and native wood. “Walnut was locally sourced and harvested from mills in Missouri, Kansas and Iowa,” Coffey says.

Helix Architecture suggested using an old Chinese wood preservation technique of charring that was applied to one side of a back room of the clubhouse. Coffey says, “The charring is a tongue-in-cheek homage to previous fires at the clubhouse.”

Several new features include a fire pit, fitness center with wireless connectivity, men’s and women’s lounges with private verandas, locker rooms and steam rooms and a pro-level golf shop.

Milburn’s 18-hole golf course was upgraded with an additional $700,000 in improvements. For example, the right greenside bunker on hole #11 was rebuilt last February by replacing low-grade sand. A drainage problem that resulted in standing water after significant rainfall was also fixed.  As a testament to the care of the golf course, clubhouse and grounds, Milburn’s golf course superintendent Steve Wilson uses sand that is dredged from the Kansas River, cleaned and separated by particle size to meet US Golf Association recommended specifications. 

Recent renovations also include a new practice tee and driving range. The parkland course spans over 160 acres. Milburn is one of the most often used courses for local qualifiers for the U.S. Open, and the alternate year schedule for the final sectional U.S. Open Qualifier.

Nearby, the tennis facility houses four lighted courts. The adjacent competition-size pool offers a setting for additional activities and relaxation.

Taking advantage of the structure’s wireless set-up, wait staff in the clubhouse are armed with iPads and ready to take dining orders. Dining room options range from the pub to a club party room, reception room and cozy spaces, such as a Ladies’ Card Room which seats a dozen people. Full-service, outdoor patio dining offers open views of the golf course.

The rebuilt clubhouse and improved grounds and amenities brings the Milburn Country Club into the modern age.