GBA Celebrates 50 Years of Remarkable Solutions in the Architecture/Engineering Industry

On June 23, 2019, GBA marked its 50th year of carrying out its core purpose: creating remarkable solutions for a higher quality of life. Founded by civil engineer George Butler, the firm George E. Butler & Associates, Inc. started with ten employees in an office on the sixth floor of a downtown Kansas City, Missouri office.

George Butler, founder and CEO of George Butler Associates (GBA).

Specializing in site development and surveying, the firm quickly made its mark on the Kansas City metro community. The Jackson County Sports Complex, later named the Harry S. Truman Sports Complex, was one of GBA’s first major projects. The firm was responsible for the civil engineering design and all site work surrounding the stadiums, which included the design of parking lots, roadways and utilities. This was no small feat at the time, especially considering that this was the first two-stadium sports complex in existence and established the firm as a new leader in the industry.

As GBA continued to grow, Butler’s lifelong friend George Saller joined as a principal in 1970. Their friendship started when the two met at church, then attended the same school from elementary school to their college years as roommates at the University of Kansas.

George Butler and George Saller talking to each other.
George Butler (right) with his friend and partner, George Saller

When Saller came to GBA, he brought extensive mechanical and electrical engineering experience with him. This began the firm’s expansion of services. Water environment, mechanical, electrical and plumbing services were added to the company in the 1970s. Today GBA’s services span multiple markets: transportation, water environment, buildings, site development and commissioning. Much of the firm’s growth can be attributed to some of GBA’s earliest clients utilizing the expanded roster of services and expertise.

This continual growth has also led to an expanded geographic footprint. GBA began its multiple office presence when it hopped the state line to Kansas in the early 1970s. Today, GBA’s headquarters are located in Lenexa, Kansas in the Renner Ridge Corporate Center, for which the firm provided planning, building design, site development and surveying. Over the last 50 years, the GBA team has expanded to 275 employees in Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Texas and Illinois offices.

“During my career at GBA, change has been constant: we’ve embraced new technology and adapted our service to meet the needs of our clients and communities,” said GBA President/CEO Tim Ross. “As we continue to grow one thing that won’t change is our commitment to creating remarkable solutions for our clients.”

To celebrate this milestone, GBA hosted multiple events throughout the year with employees, partners and clients, as well as charitable acts by employees in every office location. They will not only focus on commemorating the last 50 years, but also looking forward to the next 50. Now in the midst of implementing a five-year strategic plan, the GBA team is focused on technology and innovation to meet ever-changing needs in delivering transportation, environmental, building and development projects.


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