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Joplin backs plan to rebuild 5 schools by 2014

Joplin backs plan to rebuild 5 schools by 2014

September 29th, 2011 in News

JOPLIN (AP) - If all goes as planned, the five Joplin schools destroyed by a tornado in May will be rebuilt and open for students by August 2014 under a tentative timeline approved by the Joplin Board of Education.

The board on Tuesday approved a plan that would have East Middle School and two elementary schools built by December 2013, with Joplin High School and Franklin Technology Center would be completed by 2014, The Joplin Globe reported.

The board plans to begin accepting bids for demolition work on Friday and have demolition begin in October.

"I really want to hit that target date," said Superintendent C.J. Huff.

Huff said construction costs for the five sites likely will exceed $100 million. Insurance proceeds will cover the rebuilding costs only for what the district had before the tornado, not any improvements it might need, he said, adding that officials will have better cost estimates as the planning continues.

"I think it's very important for our community to know that we're moving forward," said board President Ashley Micklethwaite. "They'll have those milestones to look forward to and to celebrate. The design phase is going to involve multiple layers, multiple people. We want to hear people's ideas."

The board wants to use a construction management agency for the high school, Franklin Technology Center and East Middle School, but not for the two elementary schools. All sites will be bid separately except for the high school and technology center. An architect will handle civil engineering, structural engineering, landscaping and interior design, with separate companies brought in for mechanical, electrical and plumbing services.

Under the timeline, site and building design would proceed for the next six months, with groundbreaking at all five sites in May 2012.

The bid opening for professional services would be Oct. 31, with board approval of the services in November.