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SOMO President: Tornado-damaged SOMO campus can be repaired

SOMO President: Tornado-damaged SOMO campus can be repaired

June 20th, 2019 by Joe Gamm in Local News

The tornado damaged Special Olympics Missouri Training for Life campus sits Wednesday at 305 Special Olympics Drive.

Photo by Mark Wilson /News Tribune.

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The Special Olympics Missouri Training for Life Campus can be repaired following damage from the May 22 tornado, SOMO President and CEO Susan Stegeman said.

"After an initial report from our engineers, we are happy to report that the Training for Life Campus is not a total loss," Stegeman said in an email Wednesday to the News Tribune.

SOMO administrators and architects with Simon Oswald Architecture, in Columbia, have received engineers' assessments of damage to the center of the campus.

The center, standing in the rock quarry site near Christy Drive and Missouri 179, at 305 Special Olympics Drive, was one of the structures that sustained significant damage during the May 22 twister that slammed into Jefferson City.

The tornado struck the $18.5 million campus just six months after the building had been dedicated. It ripped the roof off the gymnasium and knocked out many windows.

Some of the damage listed by the engineers' report and shared by Stegeman on Wednesday included: the two southern courses of metal roof panels over the gymnasium were ripped away, nine sets of "X-bracing" between the roof joists at the south end of the gymnasium were damaged, the bottom wooden rails of 22 roof trusses in the east wing of the structure were damaged, and three isolated locations of metal roof deck were damaged.

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Two days after the tornado, SOMO had moved into temporary office space on West McCarty Street.

SOMO's insurance company sent its own contracted engineering firm to the site to assess the damage the tornado caused, Simon Oswald architect Nick Borgmeyer said.

Simon Oswald was involved in early designs for the campus about five years ago, when there was a strong possibility it would end up in Columbia. However, the quarry site came available and SOMO awarded the campus to Jefferson City. Several of the details planned for the possible Columbia campus shifted over to Jefferson City, Borgmeyer said.

Because the architectural firm is so familiar with the building — it began working on designs for the building years before it opened — staff there believe they can help identify trouble spots left by the storm.

"We're analyzing what needs to be repaired," Borgmeyer said. "We're still defining the exact scope of what needs to be replaced. We will look at the report and add to it because of our specific knowledge of what needs to be replaced."

The investigation of the damage is ongoing and the total cost for repair remains unknown, said Kayla Hull, SOMO digital media coordinator.