On May 22, as the Joplin High School graduation was taking place at Missouri Southern State University, a deadly tornado ripped across town, destroying the high school.
Two days later, Joplin schools Superintendent C.J. Huff announced that despite the tragedy, the school year would begin as scheduled on Aug. 17. The district plans to rebuild the Joplin High School in the same place it was before, according to Principal Kerry Sachetta. But that will take years, and the district had only 55 days to spare.
So this year, and likely for the next few years, Joplin High School will be split in two: Freshmen and sophomores will take classes at a district building on one side of town, and juniors and seniors will be located in a mall on the other.
But describing the upperclassmen’s new school as a “mall” is somewhat misleading. The district worked with architecture and design firms to retrofit a 95,000 square-foot space into a modern facility, complete with swinging barn doors, light-filled hallways, and Joplin’s mascot eagle on the walls.
In this video, we take a tour of what remains of the old high school and what has become the new one.
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