The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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July 16, 2013

Crowder College breaks ground for Webb City safe room

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Crowder College broke ground Tuesday for an expansion of its Webb City campus.

The new building will add 22,000 square feet to the existing campus at 600 S. Ellis St. It is scheduled to open in fall 2014.

The building will include a 9,000-square-foot safe room able to withstand an EF-5 tornado, which can pack winds of 200 mph. The safe room, which will also be available for classroom space, will be open to the community during tornadic weather, college officials said.

Officials have said the project also will cover improvements to parking lots and enhanced campus connectivity through new roads.

The $6 million cost of the project will be covered by a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and money from the college’s building fund.

A fundraising committee led by Webb City businessman Jim Dawson also is working to raise $1.5 million in pledges and donations to put toward the project. Donations from Dawson, as well as from Paragon Architecture, which has offices in Joplin and Springfield, have already been announced.

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