The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 2011 Joplin tornado

April 24, 2012

Joplin School Board receives another update on architectural plans

Plans for the rebuilding of the schools Joplin lost in the 2011 tornado received more raves Tuesday night from district officials.

“They’ve all done a wonderful job,” board president Randy Steele said in an interview after a Board of Education meeting. “Every time we see new drawings, it’s so exciting to know our kids are about to step into 21st century schools. This is a process that’s going to take time.”

The board heard updates from the architects for the East Middle School and Elementary 2 campus, Irving Elementary School and the combined Joplin High School and Franklin Technology Center.

Chad Greer, with Corner Greer and Associates, met recently with Joplin High students about their legacy at the new school. Greer told the board that students expressed interest in having the rose garden at the new school with five concrete benches for each high school class affected by the tornado, from 2011 to 2015. They want the benches to have messages from  each class.

Architects for the other sites said that they will have packages ready for the seeking of bids in the next month.

Superintendent C.J. Huff told the board that he has received phone calls from people asking about whether the current schools could be used as public shelters this storm season. He said residents should other plans in the event of a storm until the schools have the community storm shelters built in the next year or so.

The district plans to have ceremonial groundbreakings at the schools on May 22, the anniversary of the 2011 tornado. The schedule for the day is not complete, but district officials say they will likely have a ceremony where Mercy Health Systems hands over the deed for the property the new Irving Elementary will be built on in the morning.

A ceremonial groundbreaking will likely be held in the late morning or early afternoon at the East Middle School campus. District officials may plan to stop at the site of Joplin High School during the Walk of Unity that’s being planned by Joplin city government.

Huff said in an interview that he and other administrators know that May 22 of this year will be an emotional day for Joplinites.

“Everybody is in a different place,” Huff said. “Those days will bring a lot of celebration and a lot of reflection. As we reflect on the past, we have to think about the future. It’s just another step in the healing process.”

In the earlier work session, the board reviewed the new schools before going into closed session to talk about personnel and legal matters.

Huff said the board took a vote in closed session, but was withholding the outcome for the time being. The district was sued earlier this month by an out-of-state contractors hired to demolish Joplin High School. The contractor alleges the company was not given progress payments by the district for work on the site. Huff said school officials hope to come to a resolution sooner rather than later.

Board member Ashley Micklethwaite was given a plaque of appreciation by the board for her service. Micklethwaite recently announced she will be leaving Joplin for a new position with Mercy Health Center in St. Louis. The board will now accept letters of application for an appointment to fill the vacancy.

 

Meeting change

The board was scheduled to meet on May 22, but that session has been moved to May 29. The regular meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the district’s administration building, 3901 E. 32nd St.

 

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May 2011 Joplin tornado
  • Local new-home construction catches up to previous pace

    After a slow start early in this fiscal year for Joplin, the construction of new houses has resumed at the pace that existed in fiscal year 2013, when permits for new houses averaged more than 16 per month. Since November, the beginning of Joplin’s fiscal year, permits for 118 houses have been issued for a total cost of $12.8 million. The average value has been about $108,000.

    June 11, 2014

  • 052212 unity walk1_72.jpg SLIDESHOW: One year later, One day of unity, updated Photos from a day of events commemorating the May 22, 2011 tornado anniversary

    May 22, 2012 1 Photo

  • 060314 Farmers rebuild 1_72.jpg Farmers Insurance writes manual based on experience from Joplin disaster recovery

    Joplin’s housing recovery from the 2011 tornado is one for the books. Jeff Dailey, CEO of Farmers Insurance, announced Tuesday that not only will Farmers Insurance stick with Rebuild Joplin to repair and replace the homes left on the local group’s waiting list, but the company also will kick off a similar recovery effort today for the city of Sea Bright, New Jersey, based on a book it has written to expedite disaster recovery that is based on its experience in Joplin.

    June 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • r052214butterflygarden.jpg New park feature opens on tornado anniversary to encourage healing

    Cunningham Park has become an emotional place for Pamela Praytor. The name of her son, Christopher Lucas, is engraved on a monument that stands in the park in memory of the 161 people who were killed in the May 2011 tornado. “Even though I cry when I come, it’s OK,” she said. “It’s part of the healing.”

    May 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • r051214greenbldgs3.jpg Home, business cited as examples of energy efficiency, strength

    Ramona and Charles “Hugh’’ Shields were not the least bit reluctant on Monday to open their new house in the tornado zone to a bunch of strangers who had a lot of questions. “I used to live in a house where I had to wear two pairs of socks in the winter to keep my feet warm — not anymore,’’ said Ramona Shields. “This house is nice and warm in the winter, and nice and cool in the summer.’’

    May 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mercy Health System to receive $23 million FEMA grant

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide Mercy Health System of Joplin with $23 million in public assistance funding by the end of the year. The disaster relief was announced Friday by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

    April 25, 2014

  • Respond With Love flower.jpg Joplin pays it forward with flowers; residents asked to return bulbs ‘fostered’ for other towns

    Suzan Morang’s front yard bloomed brightly last year from a colorful array of bulbs that she will happily pass on to someone else this year. Morang, 1207 Xenia Court, is a participant in America Responds With Love, a national nonprofit organization that distributes bulbs to disaster-stricken cities.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Creator of Joplin-based ‘Dear World’ exhibit features Boston bombing victims in new work

    The messages written on the skin of some Boston Marathon victims may be different, but Joplin residents will recognize the handwriting. Robert X. Fogarty, the creator of the “Dear World: From Joplin with Love” exhibit, took his signature style of photography and inspiration to Boston. Fogarty traveled to Joplin in 2011 and took pictures of community members with inspirational messages written on their bodies in black ink.

    April 21, 2014

  • r041414wildwood.jpg Opening of nursing home another recovery milestone

    Gladys Dutton has done a lot of things in her life, but Monday’s dedication of the Communities at Wildwood Ranch nursing home marked a first. “I’ve never cut a ribbon before,” she said. “I hope I do a good job.” Dutton was one of four residents to participate in the opening of the $8.5 million nursing center that eventually will be home to 120 people.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin Redevelopment Corp. preparing for first property sale

    The first sale of property from the Joplin Redevelopment Corp. to Wallace Bajjali Development Partners is scheduled for May 16. The city staff will be working to prepare for that sale, it was discussed on Tuesday at a meeting of the JRC.

    April 9, 2014

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