New Round FEMA Funding!

Posted By bsapp – Jul 6 | 2017


The State of Missouri Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) is soliciting Hazard Mitigation Project Proposals. Your District may have received a letter from SEMA regarding requests for Notice of Interest for DR-4317 disaster declaration.


Through the Hazardous Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), Fema Funding for Safe Rooms can cover up to 75% of the cost for constructing a facility that will provide near absolute protection during an EF-5 Tornado.


Our Team of Safe Room Experts is ready to help your district take the first step in pursuing a FEMA Safe Room Grant by submitting your Notice of Interest or NOI to FEMA/SEMA. Call us for an initial consultation and NOI Submission at NO COST to you. We are happy to explain the process of submitting for a safe room grant.


Nope no catch! Our Team is dedicated to assisting Districts and Communities across the State to provide Safe Refuge for our Children and Residents with FEMA 361 Safe Room Facilities. This specialized experience has armed our Team with the tools to successfully lead clients through all aspects of this Grant Program. We have the knowledge to help clients maximize their funds and administer their grant with ease.

Our Team is more than Safe Room Experts, with 30 years of educational planning experience we can assist your District not only in pursuing a grant, but help identify the best secondary use for a new safe room that is thoughtfully programmed into your current or new facilities.

Classrooms | Auditoriums | Gymnasiums | Cafeterias | Libraries | Performing Arts Centers | Band Rooms Locker Rooms | Multi-Purpose Rooms | Early Childhood Centers


Collectively our Team has over 130 Safe Rooms Built, under Construction or in process and our expertise as one of the leading Teams in the State on Safe Rooms can make building a safe room at your campus a simple process. Sapp Design has been a regular presenter on safe rooms at Missouri Safe Schools and MSBA over the last several years. Many districts are not aware that the new 2015 International Building Code (IBC) requires all Educational Facilities to provide a safe room designed to ICC 500 standards in any new additions or new construction to protect students and staff. A safe room grant can not only help protect your children, but help districts comply with new model building codes for any of your future expansions.


In addition to our expertise with Safe Rooms some of the services we can bring to your District are Master Planning, Capital Improvements, New Facilities, Renovations/Additions, Capital Campaigns, Safety and Security Enhancements, Energy Assessments and a variety of other services serving School Districts.

Tornado Safe Rooms | Building Safer Schools

Posted By bsapp – Nov 18 | 2013

Tornado Safe Rooms can Protect Schools and Communities while serving a dual purposes as multipurpose gyms, classrooms, cafeterias and community rooms.

The Midwest is no stranger to tornados but unfortunately when most people think of a tornado shelter they typically think of an underground bunker used only during a storm.  While underground safe rooms do provide a safe place it is hard to effectively make the space serve a duel purpose and can actually cost more than an above ground structure.

Since 2006 Sapp Design Associates Architects has taken a different approach by helping dozen of school districts and communities design their safe room as a multifunctional space that is incorporated into the daily functions of a school or community. Our design team has designed safe rooms that serve as multipurpose gyms, classroom, cafeterias and community rooms.


Recently we have been working with Joplin, Missouri school district’s new Irving Elementary School, which was destroyed by the devastating May 22, 2011 tornado.  The new elementary school features 2safe room that can house the entire school population as well as anyone within a min walk to the schools. The schools main Safe Room can hold well over 1000 people in event of a tornado, but on daily basis functions as the school main gym space featuring bright colors and even FEMA rated windows to provide natural light into the space.

When it comes to building  these structures there is a premium in the cost, However FEMA has grants programs that can help pay for the construction of these safe rooms.  Through the Hazardous Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) or the Pre-Disaster Mitigation program (PDM), FEMA funding for safe rooms can cover up to 75% of the cost of construction for a facility that will provide near absolute protection during an EF-5 tornado.

Kfor TV out of Oklahoma City did a great story on Joplin Schools and the new Irving Elementary School designed by Sapp Design Associates Architects.