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Bates & Associates' 10-member team is moving forward without the guidance of owner Alan Bates, who died March 22.
Bates & Associates' 10-member team is moving forward without the guidance of owner Alan Bates, who died March 22.

Bates & Associates sketches out future

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Following the March 22 death of owner Alan Bates due to a stroke, the 10-employee architecture firm Bates & Associates Inc. is moving forward with Bates’ vision and philosophy in mind and a host of projects on the drawing board.

Bates & Associates partner Steve Warlick, who succeeds Bates as president, said he and Bates drew up a succession plan four years ago when Warlick was named partner, dictating that in the case of death, one would gain the shares of the deceased.

“I’m not replacing Alan,” Warlick said. “We’re basically … taking everything he instilled in us during the years, everything we had the opportunity to learn from him, taking that forward, and carrying his legacy forward.”

Warlick said Bates’ emphasis on client satisfaction led to 90 percent of the firm’s work coming from repeat clients and referrals.

“That’s just taking care of what we have and letting the rest fall into place,” Warlick said. “New clients have come through that – as opposed to marketing campaigns to drum up new business. It’s always been about taking care of what’s inside these walls.”

On Bates & Associates’ platter is a range of work, spanning from Puxico to Tulsa, Okla.

Construction documents are due April 5 for a new SRC Holdings Corp. office building, to be constructed on Union Avenue off of Cherry Street, and an April 15 deadline calls for conceptual planning for an undisclosed Drury University project.

Two similar projects in Puxico and Bloomfield, in southeast Missouri, have the firm drawing up plans for Federal Emergency Management Agency-funded safe rooms in high schools, which will serve as both protection from tornadoes and as gymnasiums, cafeterias and libraries for the schools. Deadlines for both projects are within two months.

Four Price Cutter projects also are in the pipeline. Warlick said Price Cutter parent company Pyramid Foods President and CEO Erick Taylor is protective of plans for future developments, but Warlick was able to confirm that Bates & Associates is working on renovations for a Price Cutter on Republic Road as well as a Price Cutter in Tulsa.

Curtis Jared, Jared Enterprises chief operations officer, said the company has hired Bates & Associates to design Ozark Town Center III, a retail center in Ozark, as well as nearly a dozen infills for various projects. Jared said his company will continue to work with Bates & Associates with Warlick at the helm.

“The thing I like about their firm is they’re a perfect size - not too big, not too small,” Jared said, noting he has worked with every on-staff architect. “I usually have one of their architects come along with me when I’m showing one of my properties.

“Whether they get that project, they’re there to assist. They make it a point to help me out, and hopefully that’ll translate into giving them some business as well.”

Warlick, who declined to disclose revenues, said Bates & Associates – which including him has four registered architects, four architects-in-training and two office managers – will be instituting few, if any, changes, sticking with what has kept the company successful since it was founded in 1976.

“I always had my clients and Alan always had his, and now I’m getting my arms around all of them,” Warlick said. “Right now, it’s just kind of digesting what we have, keeping work going out in a quality fashion and taking care of our clients. We certainly see opportunity to grow at some point in time.”

As for now, Bates & Associates’ employees will continue to push forward without their former leader.

“Alan was much more than an architect. He was a teacher of life,” Warlick said. “It was devastating to everybody here. I lost a mentor, a partner and a friend.”[[In-content Ad]]


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