The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 2011 Joplin tornado

July 6, 2012

Joplin school district settles with insurance company for $89 million for damaged schools

District negotiating with Traveler’s over contents

More than a year after the tornado damaged or destroyed 10 Joplin schools, the district has settled with its insurance company on all building damages for $89 million.

Nearly half of that comes from the destruction of Joplin High School.

Originally, the district anticipated it would receive about $85.9 million from Travelers Insurance.

The final settlements were completed June 6.

“We’re satisfied with what we’ve agreed to,” Paul Barr, chief financial officer for the district, said recently.

Barr said there was no litigation or complaints, but according to the documents, the district and the insurance company were sometimes at odds over the amounts for each school building.

So far, the district has received $74.3 million. The district will receive the rest of the funds once it begins building the permanent school replacements.

This is not the first time the district has received more money than anticipated since voters approved a $62 million bond issue in April.

In May, the district received $2.8 million in additional funding from the state of Missouri for five storm shelters and the demolition of properties purchased around the old Joplin High School. The money will be used to expand the new site and move it out of a flood plain.

The bond issue was part of a projected $185 million plan to rebuild the destroyed and damaged schools and to add storm shelters at all Joplin schools.

The remaining $123 million of that $185 million is to be made up from insurance reimbursements, state and federal grants, and private donations received after the storm, but some of the figures were estimates when voters went to the polls.

Joplin Superintendent C.J. Huff said this week that the district would not commit to lowering the amount of the bond issue at this point because there still are too many unknowns, including the cost to rebuild the combined high school and Franklin Technology Center. Those buildings have not been put out for construction bids.

The school board and the administration also have previously discussed using any additional funding the district receives from insurance settlements, state and federal grants, and donations to complete additional long-range building projects, including improvements to the Columbia and West Central elementary school buildings, which are some of the oldest in the district.

Improvements to those schools were not included in the $62 million bond issue.

This summer, the district is also working with Travelers for its settlement on the contents inside all of the buildings, which Barr estimates to be $16 million. He said the district will continue to be insured by Travelers. The amount for contents is not considered a part of the rebuilding budget.

Insurance payments for Joplin schools

East Middle School: $15,540,000

Irving: $5,700,000

Emerson: $1,537,241

Old South: $8,900,000

Kelsey Norman: $67,785

Cecil Floyd: $2,354,008

Roi S. Wood Administration Building: $486,978

Joplin High School: $44,818,891

Franklin Technology Center: $9,865,000

TOTAL: $89,269,903

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May 2011 Joplin tornado
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