Beautiful. Functional. Attainable.


Our partners’ relationship dates back 16 years. While employed at Burgess & Niple, Inc. we were instrumental in the development of the higher education and laboratory segment of B&N’s architectural practice. In 2004, Jim started his own firm and continued to consult with his former employees and collaborate with Tom and Michelle on many different projects. We have led many of B&N’s largest and most complex projects during our time there.

In 2010, we decided to form SPGB to build on our collective experiences and continue our emphasis on learning based design.


Michelle Shumaker | AIA


Tom Gates | AIA


Jim Butz | AIA


Elle Miller


Jim Edwards

Laboratory Consultant

Jody Butz


Rachel Woodburn

Administrative Assistant

Chandra Wilson



We use the language of architecture to express ideas and concepts that are relevant to our clients’ culture and programmatic requirements. We believe in process and collaboration as the means to achieve great architecture. We strive to produce designs that are:

  1. *Beautiful - designs that are aesthetically pleasing, coherent and contribute to their environment.

  2. *Functional - designs that not only fulfill their programmatic and operational requirements, but create competitive advantages for our clients.

  3. *Attainable - high-quality construction delivered on time and within budget.

Together, we have explored the dramatic changes that have been taking place in education over the past fifteen years. We have completed projects that have facilitated curricular and cultural changes so institutions can evolve from teaching to learning paradigms. We have embraced technology and its ever-present influence on learning.

Our projects have included campus master plans, faculty development centers, technology centers, classroom buildings, laboratory facilities and student life facilities. We have completed projects for traditional and non-traditional students, including career & technical students, adult students and workforce development programs.