The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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October 27, 2012

Joplin school construction ‘continuing nicely’; safe room project begins

JOPLIN, Mo. — The recent arrival of cooler fall weather has not slowed work on the Joplin School District’s three major construction sites.

East Middle School remains the site that is further along than the others in the construction steps, Mike Johnson, the district’s director of construction, said late last week.

Crews are working on the foundation and beginning to form concrete walls. They’re also installing underground utilities, such as gas, water and electric lines. And the pipes sticking up out of the ground are in preparation for the slabs to be poured, he said.

But don’t expect many changes at the site in the immediate future.

“What I just said will be true for the next month or so,” Johnson said.

At the new Irving Elementary School, workers are relocating the sewer lines running through the site and drilling piers for the foundation.

At the high school site, workers have wrapped up utility work, which consisted of moving the gas, water, sewer and phone lines. Site excavation is “continuing nicely,” Johnson said.

Several bid packages — for steel and foundations at the high school and miscellaneous work at East — will be presented to the Board of Education at its meeting Tuesday, he said.

In other business, the district’s facilities committee last week received design plans for safe rooms to be built at Cecil Floyd, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools. The architect for those projects, as well as 10 additional safe rooms to be built at schools around Joplin, is PLJBD Architects and Engineers, of Joplin. Designs for the remaining 10 rooms have not been completed yet, he said.

Those designs ultimately will be submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the State Emergency Management Agency for approval. Federal and state funding — which will amount to 75 percent of project costs, with the district responsible for the remaining 25 percent — will be released after approval, Johnson said.

Designs for safe rooms at East and Irving have already been approved by FEMA and SEMA, he said. The submission and approval of the design for the safe room to be built at Joplin High School is under way, he said. Those safe rooms are being designed by the architectural firm that is handling each respective school: Hollis and Miller Architects, of the Kansas City area, for East; Sapp Design Associates Architects, of Springfield, for Irving; and Corner, Greer and Associates, of Joplin, for the high school.

Community access

Johnson said the safe rooms will be similar to a gymnasium, built according to FEMA standards and open to the community during inclement weather.

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