JOPLIN, Mo. —
Joplin High School 11th- and 12th-graders will report to Northpark Mall when school starts on Aug. 17.
Specifically, it will be the retail space that formerly held Shopko and Venture in the northeast section of the mall, near Macy’s.
“We really do plan to provide high-quality education,” said Angie Besendorfer, an assistant superintendent. “It’s a 21st century high school in a really odd location.”
She said the arrangement will last longer than the coming school year.
The plan to start school on Aug. 17 has been dubbed Operation Rising Eagle by school officials. The Joplin Board of Education on Thursday approved the plan.
The plan resulted from damage caused to school buildings in the May 22 tornado.
In changes announced Wednesday, ninth- and 10th-graders will attend Memorial Education Center, a building at Eighth Street and Wall Avenue that previously has served as a high school, a middle school and a junior high school.
Franklin Technology Center will move into warehouse space at Fourth Street and Grand Avenue, near the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce building.
East Middle School will be in a building at the Crossroads Center Business and Distribution Park, located at 32nd Street (Route FF) and Prigmore Avenue.
Schoolchildren who attend Irving Elementary School will attend the former Washington School, 1112 E. Second St.
Duquesne and Duenweg elementary pupils will attend Duenweg Elementary School, while Emerson Elementary School pupils will be at Duquesne Elementary School.
Early childhood and preschool children will move to McKinley Elementary School at 610 S. Forest Ave.
The existing Roi S. Wood Administration Building will be renovated to house students in the Beacon and Flex programs.
Administration, technology, Parents as Teachers and the copy center will move to the Missouri Department of Transportation building on East 32nd Street.
Superintendent C.J. Huff said three architecture firms have been hired to design the retrofitting of the buildings, and R.E. Smith Construction Co., Joplin, and Crossland Construction Co., Columbus, Kan., have been hired as contractors.
Huff said the work will be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“There will be a crunch unlike anything you’ve seen” Huff said of the rush to get everything in place in time.
He joked that if there wasn’t sufficient progress by Aug. 10, Operation Rising Eagle would become Operation Screaming Eagle.
SUPERINTENDENT C.J. HUFF said he wants Joplin students who now are living elsewhere to return to Joplin schools on Aug. 17.