Construction of Joplin High School ‘Feverish’

September 17, 2013

A new Joplin High School that will replace one destroyed by the May 2011 tornado is on track to be opened in time for the start of school next year, and two elementary schools and a middle school are scheduled to open in January, a school district official said.

Between 100 and 140 people are working at the high school site in advance of winter, said Mike Johnston, the school district’s director of construction. Construction was delayed when several mine shafts were discovered last winter on the site of the high school, followed by several rainy days in the summer, The Joplin Globe reported.

“We’re really hitting on all cylinders now, so a lot of trades are working,” Johnson said. “They’re working feverishly on the site, trying to get as much completed as possible before we get into the wet part of the winter.”

The school is still projected to open in August 2014, except for the gymnasium, which will open later in the fall, he said.

The 2011 tornado damaged or destroyed 10 schools, killed 161 people and injured hundreds of others.

Irving Elementary, Soaring Heights Elementary and East Middle School are scheduled to open Jan. 6, Johnson said.

The construction of safe rooms at four other elementary schools and Junge Stadium is also progressing, Johnson said, with the first of the safe rooms to be delivered next month.

Bids are being taken for safe rooms at four other schools, and final designs for safe rooms at two other schools were expected to be submitted this week for approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Johnston said.

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