Grain Valley’s population in 2001 was approximately 5,000––it now exceeds 14,000 and is expected to double over the next 20 years. This considerable growth has warranted the need for enhanced infrastructure and supporting facilities, and the city hired Sapp Design Architecture to make it happen. The project will include: a new City Hall, police department, planning and zoning department, recreation center, clinic, branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library and park featuring a splash pad, playground structures, educational pavilions and preserved green space for future growth.
The project is similar, though not identical to the Forward SGF process the City of Springfield is conducting, and like that process, Sapp Design Architecture held numerous public meetings to get community members involved and on board with the project. Sapp Design Architecture’s vice president Jim Stufflebeam and project manager Kristi Beattie say public meetings throughout the process are vital in giving them direction and ensuring everyone has access to the same information. “If we can facilitate that [public input] and make their vision become reality, then I think we’ve done our jobs,” Beattie says.
To gain a deeper sense of community perspective, Sapp Design formed a steering committee made up of various community leaders including the school superintendent, a local historian and an alderman just to name a few. “We had a group that could take the pulse of the community, and we would run different ideas by this group and get their input initially before we would go to a big public meeting to show ideas, designs or directions,” Stufflebeam says.