Jeff Hazard’s vision prevails with new children’s… | LifeScape

Jeff Hazard’s vision prevails with new children’s services design

Long into the future, Sioux Falls will bear the mark of the late architect Jeff Hazard. When he died of leukemia in 2019, tributes hailed his work on many of the most creative and high-profile buildings in the area. Now, one of his last projects will start to take shape, the new children’s facility for LifeScape. The site is located on West 34th Street North and North Career Avenue, South of Benson Road and west of I-29.

Jeff was on the LifeScape board for 21 years, from 1998 until his death. When the need for better facilities to serve children at LifeScape became apparent, Jeff toured the current building to assess its future. His opinion was that the 70-year-old, landlocked building would fall further and further behind in meeting the needs of today’s children. He believed the kids at LifeScape deserved a beautiful space with natural light, safe outdoor access, art, and open space for healing and creative fun. So, he donated his time to make the initial drawings.

“Jeff had a long-standing investment in LifeScape and all of their programs, building on (Koch Hazard Architects co-founder) Ralph Koch’s involvement,” says Brooke Wegener, Partner and Chief Strategy Officer at Koch Hazard. “He was a board member and advisor, readily sharing his talent and resources. Jeff believed that all people should have access to well-designed spaces, and especially believed in LifeScape’s mission.”

Although the project has evolved since his passing, elements of Jeff’s initial design remain, as well as his philosophy for its design. Through challenges in land availability and inflationary costs, Jeff’s firm, Koch Hazard Architects, along with the Omaha-based HDR architecture and engineering firm, have guided the new facility into a beautiful and practical design that will serve children for generations to come.

We are proud to carry on Jeff’s philosophy regarding community support,” says Brooke. “Koch Hazard Architects and HDR (Omaha office) are continuing the journey with LifeScape to empower children and adults with varied needs.”

The project groundbreaking will be on Friday, April 12th at 1:30 p.m.