From Master Planning To Project Planning

Posted By jumpsix – Mar 16 | 2018

Over the last year, Sapp Design has been excited to have been contracted by School of the Osage (SOTO) to develop a District Master Plan that would address the need of their 2,000 students and includes both of their campuses, four of their existing buildings, and all of their properties. The purpose of the plan was to evaluate the current utilization of educational spaces and campus layouts, taking into consideration projected future changes in enrolment. The plan was also intended to evaluate the existing conditions of the facilities.

The primary objective of this master plan was to determine the most educationally-effective and resource-efficient way to accommodate the students, teachers, and administrators of this facility. The process was focused on that goal throughout.

The process was initiated with a study of the demographic nature of the Community and District. Analysis of the facilities was also conducted to promote a safe, secure and comfortable environment for all involved. Growth was projected, program needs were assessed, and planning schemes were developed and coupled with funding options in order to achieve a logical and affordable planning solution.

Several alternative directions were developed. From these, Sapp Design, the School of the Osage School Board and Facility Planning Committee – with input and direction from community, faculty, and students – determined the most effective scenario.

The final Master Plan is a culmination of months of research, analysis, and planning evaluations. The Master Plan uses the findings from previous scenarios to create a ten-year plan allowing for flexibility in balancing the needs of the School District. One of the most important aspects of a Master Plan is the flexibility it provides. This plan can be modified beyond the ten-year period to coordinate with the School District’s funding.

In anticipation of the growing momentum toward “Next Gen Learning Environments,” as well as the fluctuations in enrolment experienced by the School of the Osage, flexibility has been a continuous factor in determining the longevity and multi-functionality of existing spaces. The objective to provide and maintain a level of flexibility in all of the existing and planned facilities has been influential in our recommendation for the Master Plan.

“Grow” into the Building
The Master Plan assessment assumes that there may be fluctuation in enrolment, as well as changes in educational methods and course content throughout the next ten years that may not be accounted for in today’s educational environment. These considerations indicate that the buildings should account for more than minimum standards. It is important during the master planning process to account for these considerations by recommending a solution that will allow School of the Osage to “grow” into their buildings instead of meeting a minimum standard with little room for growth or flexibility.

Final Recommendations 

The Master Plan Final Recommendations revealed the need for over 30 projects ranging from small renovations to major building additions to new facilities. The majority of these projects are managed to strategically time construction work and completion dates during summer months. In addition, the projects are sequenced to complete facilities and allow for the existing buildings to remain occupied during construction with minimal disruption.

The scope of projects includes major renovations to the High School Performing Arts areas, a new Technology and Arts addition – including an integrated STEM lab; athletic improvements, an overall campus design including a new Field House, and a new Concessions buildings. Also included are interior renovations, field improvements, civil improvements, electric service replacements, ADA upgrades, Safety and Security measures, and a new Early Childhood Center / Daycare facility.


5700 Hours Later!

Posted By bsapp – Aug 7 | 2017

At this milestone occasion, we are pleased to announce that Devon Burke has achieved licensure as an Architect in the State of Missouri. Our team is extremely proud of Devon and her dedication to her professional path and the strengths she brings to our now team of 12 licensed architects!

What people might not know is the journey to becoming an Architect is not an easy one. It begins with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from a five-year accredited program, which deprives students of nearly four years of sleep. (Devon surpassed this requirement with a Masters degree from Drury University.) Then come the thousands of hours of architectural experience under an already licensed architect that are required by the Architectural Experience Program (AXP). During this time, you are basically doing what an architect does, but you can’t call yourself an architect. (You can’t even call yourself an architectural intern anymore!) And finally, a candidate must pass the grueling Architect Registration Exam (ARE), a series of exams that test your competence as an architect.

A School for Burkina Faso

Posted By bsapp – Dec 22 | 2014

This holiday season we all have many things to be thankful for. At Sapp Design Architects we are thankful for another great and successful year after the completion of several new schools. We are thankful to live in a community that places such a large emphasis on public education, and for all of the dedicated teachers and administrators who hold our schools to the highest standards in the state of Missouri. We often take for granted the public education systems we have in place and forget that about 57 million primary school age children do not have access to schools. That is why this year we at Sapp Design Architects are thankful to have a team member taking action by designing a primary school for one of Africa’s poorest countries, Burkina Faso.

With his passion for designing schools driving him, Benjamin Hall has co-founded the non-profit For Burkina, and is working with Hammons School of Architecture students to design socially oriented architecture for the country of Burkina Faso, Africa. The group’s mission is, “to create sustainable, economical, and dignifying architectural designs that improve the well-being and livelihood of inhabitants.” Working in collaboration with the non-profit BuildOn, the group is designing what will become BuildOn’s prototype school for both Burkina Faso and Mali, Africa. With the the design of the school complete, the group is now raising the necessary $32,000 to construct it. In March of 2015, members of the group will travel to Burkina Faso to work with the selected community in building the first school using their design.

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“We view this process as a way to give back through our talents as designers and organizers,” says Benjamin, “Our goal is to continue to build off this experience, and to continue providing access to education in Burkina Faso. We believe the best ideas for shaping our future will stem from places of scarcity, and eventually we’d like to find a way to use the lessons we’ve learned in Burkina Faso to serve the local community.”

The design of the school is the result of months of research into the climate and culture of Burkina Faso. It is simple yet elegant, and it takes into account local construction methods. With the exception of a welder, the school will be constructed using non-electric hand tools for a cost of about $13.50 per square foot. For a comparison, a low cost school in Missouri is about $150 per square foot.

It’s been exciting to witness Benjamin using the skills and lessons learned while working at SDA to give back to those most in need while still maintaining his commitment to the firm. To learn more about For Burkina and to contribute to their fund-raising campaign, check them out at


2014 AIA Springfield Design Awards

Posted By bsapp – May 5 | 2014

On May 2, 2014, Sapp Design Associates Architects, P.C. was presented with three American Institute of Architects (AIA) Springfield Design Awards given at  the DA 2014 Awards Ceremony.  Each submission was judged by both a Public and a Professional Jury. Sapp Design is very grateful for its two Public Recognition Awards and one Honorable Mention Award. This year’s awards were given to Mid-Continent Public Library’Woodneath Library Center, Joplin School’s Irving Elementary, and Baxter County’s Donald W. Reynolds Library.

Every two years the Springfield Chapter of the AIA holds a  reception and design awards program to recognize exceptional architecture in our community.  Projects are judged by a jury of architectural professionals and a separate public jury.  This year’s professional jury was headed by Carlos Jiménez, a distinguished Architect and Professor at Rice University, and the public jury consisted of Nancy Chickaraishi – Hammons School of Architecture,  Jonathan Gano – City of Springfield Public Works, Nick Nelson – Springfield Art Museum, Chris Rozier – Chamber of Commerce, Ryan Allison – Convention Visitor Bureau, and Jason Graf – Crowdit.

Thank you to the juries for all their gracious comments, and a very special thanks to our clients, because great projects can’t happen without great Clients!

Kathy Allee is Retiring

Posted By bsapp – Dec 31 | 2013


After 17 years our beloved Executive Secretary is retiring.  Over the years Kathy has represented our company with grace, professionalism and a welcoming face as you walk through the front door.  We are all happy for her to start this exciting new phase of her life, but are going to miss the amazing custom cakes and treats she would take the time to make for each persons birthday.

Congratulations Kathy and Happy Retirement!

Outstanding Design in AS&U Magazine

Posted By bsapp – Dec 3 | 2012

Sapp Design Associates Architects is excited to announce that Nixa Summit Intermediate has been selected for publication in Penton Media’s American School &University’s 2012 Architectural Portfolio. The project is featured in the November 2012 edition of the magazine and also on the web at An annual competition honoring education design excellence, the Architectural Portfolio spotlights projects representing today’s most effective learning environments.

Additional details/background/data about the project

A Jury of American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on Architecture for Education members and educational administrators evaluated submissions from architectural firms, Schools and Universities across the country.  148 projects were chosen for publication in AS&U, which reaches 57,000 facility planners, school and university administrators and architects with this issue. This is the 30th year the competition has been held.

The jury considers the following specific criteria to make it selection: student centric 21st-century schools, community use/ partnerships,  sustainable energy efficiency, design that is reflective of culture and community, Design that respects its environment, flexibility maintenance and materials. In addition, the jury considered that kids want to learn where they live – that design should consider new trends users should enjoy the environment, incorporating  informal spaces for learning such as the outdoors. The jury also commented that the design process should be inclusive facility us to change for those who may be resistant.

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2010 AIA Design Awards

Posted By bsapp – May 4 | 2010

 On May 5, 2010 Sapp Design Associates Architects, PC was presented with a total 7 of the 14 American Institute of Architects (AIA) design Awards given at the AIA Springfield’s awards reception. Each project was judged by both a Public and a Professional jury. Sapp Design is very grateful for its 6 Public Recognition Awards 2 of which were given the most prestigious award of, ”Special Honor Award” for our work on Ralph.M.Riggs Hall located at Evangel University and the Midwest Genealogy Center located in Independence, Mo. What excites SDA about each of these recognition awards is the fact that these designs were created for publicly funded projects with very conservative budgets. Receiving this recognition is a real Honor and a testament to our design philosophy of creating designs that are “Great Places timeless in design”. SDA is also honored to receive a Professional Recognition Merit Award for the Waynesville Career Center located in Waynesville, Mo. Thank you to the juries for all their gracious commits and a very special thanks to our clients, because great projects can’t happen without great Clients!