The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

August 9, 2012

Our View: Great projects

JOPLIN, Mo. — Two projects are getting under way that will significantly improve the quality of life for families living in Joplin.

A new $5.8 million pool in Schifferdecker Park got the green light on Monday from the Joplin City Council. The same night the council approved the use of land at the Joplin Athletic Complex for the construction of a ball field and playground for children with special needs.

 The pool will be paid for through sales tax money. A recommendation to build a $5.8 million aquatics center came from public input received by a task force of local residents who devised a projects list based on revenue generated by a 10-year quarter-cent sales tax voters renewed to start in 2012.

 Money for the Miracle League Field and playground came from donations from Rotarian members across the nation, following the May 22, 2011, tornado. Part of the nearly $500,000 raised came from KW Cares, which collects contributions from those affiliated with Keller Williams real estate firms. The field is being named for Will Norton, a Joplin High School senior who was killed in the tornado shortly after his high school graduation.

The decisions pave the way for competitive swimmers who will benefit from the 50-meter by 25-yard competition pool that will be part of the new pool. The ball field and playground help make sure young children with disabilities have a training ground. They, too, are our future athletes.

And for those who just want to have fun, both venues will have lots to offer.

Generations of Joplin residents have enjoyed splashing in the water at Schifferdecker Park for at least 100 years. Here’s to the next 100.

As well, we welcome the addition of a Miracle League Field to Joplin — a project born of a terrible tragedy. Hopefully, it will ease some of Joplin’s pain and put smiles on the faces of children for years to come.

Well done, all around.

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