The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 2011 Joplin tornado

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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May 2011 Joplin tornado
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    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

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    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

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    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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