Gov. Jay Nixon today joined Joplin Schools Superintendent C.J. Huff for a tour of the facility that will become the temporary home of the district's 11th- and 12th-grade students in August.
The former ShopKo facility at Northpark Mall will serve as a temporary facility for grades 11 and 12 while the district proceeds with reconstruction of Joplin High School, which was completely destroyed by the May 22 tornado. The high school was one of 10 district buildings damaged by the storm. Three of those buildings, including the high school, already have been declared total losses.
Just three weeks after the devastating storm, Superintendent Huff and his team have located temporary facilities for every school and program displaced by the storm, and the district is on pace to begin school on time.
"Because of the leadership of Superintendent Huff and his team, the Joplin School District already has identified temporary space for each of its facilities, and planning and renovation are underway," Gov. Nixon said. "This is a tremendous accomplishment in just three short weeks. My administration will continue to work closely with the Joplin Schools to provide support at every stage of this process. By working together, we'll ensure that Joplin students return to warm and inviting classrooms this fall, and that they do so on time."
Senior leaders from Gov. Nixon's administration, including Budget Director Linda Luebbering, Insurance Director John Huff and Senior Policy Adviser Mike Nietzel, have been involved throughout the Joplin Schools' search for temporary locations. Gov. Nixon also signed three Executive Orders to expedite the reconstruction and rebuilding process for the Joplin School District.