Case Studies: Helping Meet Project Challenges

Budgets of state, county and local agencies continue to face an array of challenges. Leaders grapple with pension obligations, retaining quality staff, reduced revenue, greater demand for public services and increased competition for federal dollars. These demands have resulted in many communities having ever-expanding backlogs of deferred maintenance and growing facility needs.

As long-time leaders serving such public agencies, WSKF Architects has always prided ourselves on our ability to deliver designs and facilities that are equally innovative, practical and cost effective.

As we work with city and county administrators, finance directors, fire and police chiefs, parks and recreation directors and others, we strive to understand and help solve their challenges. Our philosophy is to be as good of stewards of public funds as the leaders entrusted with each community’s resources.

At their core every architectural project is an exercise in problem solving. For every project, there is any number of solutions. Our approach is to arrive at the right and best solution based on the individual client’s needs.

Two case studies illustrate our approach and the results.

In 2008 the Lenexa Fire Department was planning a new satellite fire station. An outline of station needs, budget and schedule were established. More broadly, City leaders wanted a LEED-certified facility that would demonstrate Lenexa’s commitment to sustainable design and long-term energy efficiency. After other firms were unable to deliver a design that would meet the City’s station needs and budget, the WSKF design team and HarenLaughlin Construction were asked to take up the challenge. Through innovative thinking and design, thoughtful selection of building materials and similar responsible strategies, our team delivered a high-functioning fire station at competitive costs. Since the City opened the station in 2010, tracking of utility costs has shown the station uses approximately 30 percent less energy compared to other conventional stations. The station has also garnered attention from fire service leaders from across the country.

In Excelsior Springs, Mo., the challenge was replacing an outdated, undersized and worn-out animal control facility. Leaders sought an appropriately sized and designed facility. The goals also included a design that helped advance the City’s focus on promoting animal adoption. Community leaders also wanted City crews to self-perform much of the construction work versus contracting the work out.

With nearly a decade of experience designing animal-related facilities, our team combined functional design, an efficient layout and durable materials. Ongoing coordination and communication helped keep the design on target and the construction moving.

The result is a facility that meets the City’s goals at a per-square-foot cost in line with competitive pricing for today’s animal control facilities.

Vince Magers

For Lenexa Fire Station No. 5, WSKF met the City’s goals for a high-functioning fire
station, the budget and a project that demonstrated the community’s commitment to sustainability.


WSKF’s approach to the Excelsior Springs Animal Control Facility balanced functionality, the budget and supporting the community’s focus on animal adoption.