Joplin School District End Lease at Memorial Hall - KOAM TV 7

Joplin School District End Lease at Memorial Hall

Updated June 16, 2014: Joplin city council members will soon decided the future of the city's memorial hall.

The Joplin School District leased the building after the 2011 tornado.

The school board notified the city, they would no longer lease the building for the coming school year, because the new high school should be completed by that time.

The district used Memorial Hall for high school band and student athletes to practice.

Back in 2011, city council members approved the the lease for $400,000 a year.

85 % of the funds came from federal and state funds.

Aug 17, 2011: Joplin's Memorial Hall will be leased to the Joplin School District for high-school band members and athletes to use as a place to practice.

City council members passed the vote unanimously.

The bill is passed and Joplin's Memorial Hall will no longer be the home to concerts or events at least for the next three years.

Instead, it will now be home to some Joplin High School students.

"We are leasing other facilities and the cost per square foot is averaging around 10 to 12 dollars per square foot, for those particular leases, this lease will only cost us 8 dollars per square foot" says C. J. Huff, Superintendent of Joplin School District.

The school district is signing many leases to operate out of different buildings since the May 22nd tornado knocked out a number of their schools.

The high school needed a space for their fine arts and athletic activities.

"normally its used for concerts, stand up comedians, people rent it out for wedding receptions, special events, things of that nature." says Chris Cotten, Parks and Facilities with Joplin.

The building was approved for a 3 year lease with a possibility of a 4th. It will cost the district $400,000 a year. The district is trying to get the city to approve FEMA's assistance, to help pay for the costs.

Now if the city approves, FEMA will pay for up to 75% of the total costs it takes to lease Memorial Hall, which means the school district will only be paying for $100,000.

"There is some potential also for the state SEMA, through the state dollars there is another potential for another 10% of that being picked up as well, we could be out even less than that at this point." says Huff.

Band, choir, orchestra and athletics will now have a space to practice once school starts, August 17th the acoustics and the walls making it a perfect place for musical activities.

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