Linn County’s Dr. Percy and Lileah Harris Building opens in Cedar Rapids

The opening of the Dr. Percy and Lileah Harris Building, home to both the Linn County Public Health and Linn County Child and Youth Development Services and name for two pillars of the community — Dr. Percy and Lileah Harris, was officially celebrated on Nov. 22 by the more than 200 who packed the building’s gymnasium, including all 12 of Dr. Percy and Lileah’s children.

“Dr. Percy and Lileah Harris devoted their lives to their community, their family, and their passion for medicine and education. It is such a privilege to honor their legacies with this world-class Public Health and Child and Youth Development Center,” Linn County Supervisor Ben Rogers said during a ceremony prior to public tours of the building.

The three-story, 63,000-square-foot, building was designed to respect its location nestled in the largely residential Oak Hill Jackson neighborhood to the east of the bustling New Bohemia entertainment district. The three-story volume includes a diverse mix of classroom and childcare spaces, offices, meeting rooms, clinics, and labs.  Each of the 12 conference rooms and meeting spaces will be dedicated to one of the Harris children. The playground, gym and green space will be open to the public after business hours and on weekends.

“This building will treat patients of all colors and backgrounds. We will treat immigrants and refugees. We will teach and care for all children. We will show them that a better world is possible,” said Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker.

Linn County Ribbon Cutting

“Public health and child and youth development [were] the highest values of their lives, and for that you honor them,” their son Peter told the audience at the dedication ceremony. “By this dedication, you also honor the many extraordinary Linn County citizens of their generation who Mom and Dad loved so dearly.”

Read more about the barrier breaking couple for whom the building is named here.