On June 19, 2015 the James River crested at an all-time record high of 22.2 feet at the Springfield reporting station. This surpassed the previous record of 22.0 feet set on July 1, 1909. Why does this statistic matter to an architecture firm, you might ask?
Esterly, Schneider was commissioned to design the first building at the new Lake Springfield Park. The new community center provided Springfield and the surrounding area with greater access and enjoyment of Lake Springfield. The Visitor’s Center includes 1,200 S.F. of community room, retail space for canoe rentals and other lake activities. The building also includes public restrooms for use by park patrons. The Ozarks Greenways Trail has also been extended through the site as a part of the master plan.
When designing the building, great consideration was taken to ensure that the 100 year and 500 year flood line did not encroach into where the building sits at the edge of the Lake. Esterly, Schneider determined it would be best to use the 500 year flood line as the point at which to construct this building and to also set the building two feet above the top of the dam, to allow water go over the dam before it could reach the building perimeter. As you can see in the picture below, this design consideration worked!