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.


Opening Joplin New Public Library

Posted By bsapp – May 30 | 2017


Joplin Celebrates Opening of New Public Library

JOPLIN – As a testament to Joplin’s continued resiliency after the community was devastated by an EF5 tornado in 2011, residents will celebrate the grand opening of Joplin’s new public library with a celebration on June 3.

The new library is not just a symbol for the city’s rebirth, it’s also a cultural center and catalyst for economic development at the “center of it all” with spaces indoors and out to gather, imagine, explore, learn, and be entertained. Sapp Design Associates Architects of Springfield, Missouri and OPN Architects of Cedar Rapids Iowa collaborated on the design of the new library.

The Architectural planners collaborated extensively with as many as 23 different Joplin user groups by leading community focus sessions, surveys and panel discussions from leading library directors across the United States to develop a design that fulfilled its goal for the library to be used in new and unimagined ways. The result was a size increase from 35,000 sf to 57,800 sf to provide room for expanded services and community flex space that promotes the concept of a Next Generation Library.

Starting with an exciting and playful modern exterior the design prompts a retail-like transparency into the building’s interior showcasing various activities happening inside. Along the well-traveled 20th street, the building takes on a sweeping, elegant form consisting of a community storm shelter bordered by light and airy roof forms reminiscent of butterfly wings.  The gently sloping roof planes appear to float as they are supported by an intricate array of steel framework. The storm shelter, however, is given a sense of permanence, clad in a textured armor of aluminum plate panels.

From the parking lot, a warm, wood lined canopy extends out to welcome patrons. The structure, left exposed, frames the entrance pathway and continues into the lobby. The entrance lobby marks the transition from the exterior and is accented by a linear skylight that permits cascading, natural light down the west wall. A shortened ceiling separates the entrance lobby from the open concourse and enhances the experience of movement toward the inviting, open common space.

The interior design includes a large central lobby that serves as community gathering space. On each side of this lobby are exterior courtyards, one enclosed and the other open to the public with an adjacent outdoor learning classroom and sculpture lawn. Inside, a community room also serves as a storm shelter and other centrally located meeting and community spaces fulfill the city’s collective goal for the library to be a community hub.

Radiating off the lobby are the collection spaces, each under a dynamic sloping roof form that lifts up at the edges of the building to create tall volumes with terrific views and daylight, serving to connect the interior to the exterior and the library to the city of Joplin.

The makerspace houses a 3D printer, lasers for etching, engraving, and cutting, as well as equipment for digital media conversion. A Lego wall encourages budding engineers. The children’s area is interactive in other ways, too, with a mural reflecting favorite children’s titles. Modern décor in the Post Library complements what will be a rotating art gallery leading to a meeting room for up to 200 people, which can be booked online.

The Joplin Public Library was honored for excellence in architectural design with a Public Design Award at the biennial Springfield AIA reception and design awards program in May 2016. Projects are judged by a jury of architectural professionals and a separate public jury consisting of a group of community leaders, arts professionals, and local academics.


Sapp Design Associates Architects is a Springfield, Missouri based Architecture firm with more than 30 years of experience designing award-winning public buildings across the Midwest. The Firm’s work encompasses Public Libraries, K-12 Education, Higher Education, Recreation, Civic, and Corporate projects. To learn more about Sapp Design Associate Architects, visit .


Searcy Public Library

Posted By bsapp – Mar 18 | 2017

In December of 2016, Sapp Design and Stocks-Mann Architects were charged with designing a new civic landmark and community library for Searcy, Arkansas, to be the flagship library for the White County Public Library system. The vision and the parameters for the new library were established through a 12 month strategic planning process that the library conducted separately during 2016. The City donated the site (a former public swimming pool site) near a main business route. The new design, if approved by voters, will provide 21st century services for many years to come, and provides flexibility to changing venues, and provides for future expansion as well. The architecture of the new library, which was driven by stakeholder input, is based on a traditional and conservative styling, with a focus on natural materials; and yet modern and relevant for many years to come

We Have Grown!

Posted By bsapp – Jul 13 | 2016

We have added new creative talent! Sapp Design Associates Architects is pleased to announce the addition of 5 new team members. It is a great feeling when a firm has the ability to hire new innovative professionals to it’s already well established staff. With that said, we welcome Brandon White, Julia Hartman, Danny Loza, Jonas Gassman and Nick Casertano.

_D2A1093-bwBrandon White, from Colorado joins SDA Architects as full-time Architectural Designer after working for the firm on a part-time capacity during his senior year. Brandon graduated May 2016 with Masters in Architecture from Drury University. Along with wanting to bring some creative Colorado style to the Springfield area, Brandon will be working in all levels of Architecture and is excited to accelerate his path towards becoming a licensed architect.


_D2A1085-bwJulia Hartman, from Jefferson City, Mo has started full-time as an Architectural Designer after working for the firm on a part-time capacity during her senior year. Julia graduated May 2016 with Masters in Architecture from Drury University. She will be bringing her creative talent to several of the firm’s current high profile projects.



_D2A1096-bwDanny Loza, from Ecuador joins SDA Architects as full-time Architectural Designer. Danny has a Masters in Architecture from Drury University in 2015 and is currently working on his Master in Business Administration when not in the office. Danny brings great rendering and design skills to the team along with a positive drive to become a licensed architect. 



_D2A1077-bwJonas Gassman, a 4th year student in the Master of Architecture program at Drury University has been working with SDA part-time since the fall of 2015 and will be continuing his internship this summer. Jonas is from Columbia, Mo and his talents and abilities to work on a graduate level has been nothing short of impressive.


_D2A1058 bwNick Casertano, Has joined the firm as an architectural student designer for the summer. Nick is in his third year of a 5 years Master in Architecture from University of Kansas. Nick is a native of Springfield and has already had real world construction experience in the field making him an excellent addition to the firm.

Earth Day 2016

Posted By bsapp – Apr 25 | 2016

Earth Day 2016

For Earth Day 2016 the Sapp Design Team celebrated in two ways to promote and raise awareness to environmental issues.  To start off the the day we opened Springfield’s new Clean Water Operations Center! This new 12,000 sf center promotes environmentally friendly building practices with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Level of LEED Silver. The the highlights of this facility are its 2,900 gallon cistern, rain gardens and lot of natural light on the buildings interior.

Later in the day, we were off to do some trash clean up around Springfield Lake and below the dam along the river. Our team had a great time and even got to see some of our local wildlife…..Snakes!

Not 1 but 2!

Posted By bsapp – Dec 29 | 2015

Special Citations for Outstanding Educational Design

Getting recognized on a national level for excellence in educational design is humbling and rewarding experience all at the same time.  This year Sapp Design is pleased to announce that we were awarded 2 Citations for outstanding design out of 112 schools submitted to American School & Universities’s 2015 Architectural Portfolio.

This years citation winners where selected biassed on the following criteria: Collaborative at both the student and educator levels, personalized learning, project based learning flexibility, active learning/active play/movement in K-12 spaces, STEM, technology, resourcefulness in every part of the building, agility of spaces, adaptation, lifecycle of building and systems, buildings, building/facility that reflects community and functions as center of community,security/safety, learning occurring in every part of the building, age-appropriate spaces, and an appropriate sense of place/culture.

A jury committee of Architects and Educational Administrators evaluated submissions from architectural firms, schools and universities across the country.  Of the 112 projects submitted the jury selected two of Sapp Design’s projects for Special Citations. The Jury praised Springfield, Missouri’s Sherwood Elementary for being “Colorful and Collaborative” and applauded the renovation of Nixa, Missouri’s Junior High for “Minimal Intervention provides total transformation”! Having these project called out nationally is a great honor for the Sapp Design team and a strong reassurance to the clients we serve that our team is working hard to design top notch educational facilities. 

2015 Project Team of the Year!

Posted By bsapp – Nov 6 | 2015

Last Night Sapp Design Associates was honored and humbled to win the 2015 Project Team of the Year Award given by the Springfield Contractors Association. 

IMG_3260The Project Team of the Year Award is given to the most notable project of the year judged on the creativity, uniqueness, and complexity along with the cooperative efforts of the design and construction teams to solve problems throughout the duration of the project and over all contribution to the community.

“It has been a truly great experience to work with the Springfield Public Schools staff, Sapp Design Associates Architects and DeWitt Contractors.  It is gratifying to come together to produce a quality project for the Springfield Community. We appreciate all of our donors, especially Sertoma Clubs, for their outstanding support, as well as our hard-working Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield Board of Directors and Club staff. “– Boys & Girls Club

“It was a pleasure to be a part of this team.  We were a “Team” from the start of construction through the punch work and the first day of school.  There was a job to be done.  Everyone accepted their roles and implemented their respective duties toward the successful completion with virtually no negativity.  I truly believe, in my thirty plus years in commercial construction, I feel fortunate to place this Team in my top “3”; and I’d have to flip a coin to decide 1st, 2nd and 3rd.”  – Laurie Luna, Bond Project Manager, Springfield Public Schools

Project’s contribution to community:

Southwest Springfield is continuing to grow, and the demand on the public school system is straining the capacity of existing facilities.  As a part of the 2013 bond issue, Springfield Public Schools decided to build a new elementary school to replace the small, overcrowded, out-of-date, and aging Sherwood Elementary school.  The new building increases the student capacity from around 260 to over 500 kids.  This allowed some redistricting to reduce overcrowding in other elementary schools in the area.

In addition to the contribution to the school system itself, Springfield Public Schools partnered with the Boys and Girls Club to establish a first-in-the-state relationship.  The Boys and Girls Club has 5500 square feet of dedicated space, and shares other spaces, such as the gym, art studio, music studio, media center, and cafeteria with the school. The new Sertoma Unit of the Boys and Girls Club is providing before and after school programs for up to 250 kids, as well as summer programs for the surrounding community.  There are only a handful of public school/Boys & Girls Club partnerships across the entire United States.  This partnership was made possible by a community that embraces collaboration and supports the mission of the BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF SPRINGFIELD.

Our Largest Safe Room!

Posted By bsapp – Aug 11 | 2015

On, Monday August 10th 2015  Neosho opened a new addition to it’s high schools that solves multiple needs by blending, safety, aesthetics and space needs into a 14,000 sf FEMA tornado safe room. This space features 18 new classrooms with FEMA rated windows that are able take impacts up too 200 mph, while providing natural light into the classrooms. Safety being the key this structure will withstand a tornado with winds up to 250 mph and protect up to 2366 occupants!

A side benefit of the addition is a new entrance and two story facade giving the building a modern look, one that the community and students can be proud of.

2015 Solar Decathlon

Posted By bsapp – Aug 3 | 2015

This past weekend, Sapp Design Architects decided to put our muscle where our mouth is regarding energy efficiency and cutting-edge, high-tech design. The firm volunteered to help out on the Crowder College and Drury University’s Design-Build Solar Decathlon House. Our own summer intern, Jonas Gassmann, a Drury University Architecture student, leads the volunteer efforts and is also one of the Designers of this amazing project.  Once completed, the house will be deconstructed and shipped to Irvine, California. Once in California the house will be reconstructed and monitored for its energy efficiency under real-world conditions. The Crowder/Drury team will then be judged against other teams from across the U.S.

A full look at the project can be seen here

About the Competition:

This national competition by the  U.S. Department of Energy challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

Groundbreaking Sherwood Elementary School

Posted By bsapp – Jul 17 | 2014

July 16, 2014 Springfield Public Schools broke ground on the New Sherwood Elementary School. This  new innovative school designed by Sapp Design Associates Architects  will feature many firsts for the district and state of Missouri, including a unique  partnership with the Boys and Girls Club. This will be the first school in the state of Missouri that has a dedicated BGC as part of the school building. This will allow students to easily  attend the Boys and Girls Club after school without having to be bussed to a different location and provides additional funding for the school district creating a true win/win for everyone.

The school will feature many collaboration spaces or “learning Parks” that promote an active learning environment along with brain friendly color schemes. The goal of the design is to create as much flexibility as possible so that no matter how educations changes over the years the school will be able to quickly adapt.


The gymnasium of the new school will be designed to meet the structural requirements of a FEMA 361 Safe Room. The project is not receiving FEMA funding, but the school is committed to providing the safe room for the security of the kids and staff.


Net Zero (capable)

The most cutting edge feature of this project is that it is Net Zero capable. A Net Zero building is one that uses very little energy and is powered completely by solar panels and or wind turbines. This project will not initially include solar nor wind power, but will be a very low energy consumer, so the future addition of solar and wind power will make it Net Zero and completely off the utility grid.