City Of Joplin Decides To Separate 20th Street Library/Theater P - KOAM TV 7

City Of Joplin Decides To Separate 20th Street Library/Theater Project


The City of Joplin plans on separating construction on the 20th Street Library and Theater project, according to it's Interim City Manager. Sam Anselm broke the news to Joplin’s City Council in a special meeting Monday night.
The City had been working with master developers Wallace Bajjali to try and work both entertainment venues into one building; with the theater on top and library beneath. At one time thinking the theater could help pay off debt toward the Library construction, according to Interim City Manager Sam Anselm. But Anselm says that working through logistics have been tough.

“We were having some troubles making the financials meet, you know a "Library-Theater" is not a typical project, and so as we started to do some do diligence, we ran into some concerns, so the thought of the master developer was why don't we just look at splitting the two projects out,” Anselm said.
For example, Anselm says things like paying for sound insulation to keep noise from the theater from interrupting library patrons might prove costly.  
“We thought from just a project perspective, we would see some cost savings if we didn't have to build in that sound proofing that would be able to protect the library patrons from loud noises," Anselm said.  

The projects will still be located in close proximity according to Anselm. The Economic Development Organization is giving Joplin a $20 million dollars grant to help redevelop the City; which the city is planning on utilizing to help redevelop the 20th street corridor, where the new Theater and Library will be located. And according to Wallace Bajjali Planner Gary Box, there will still be plenty of room for both buildings in the space.

"Instead of having it on the second floor of the library it's going to be a stand alone structure and we have checked with architects that we have engaged on in our portion of the project, and we feel that there is adequate room for it, so it's a win both ways,” Box said.

Further Anselm says that separating the two projects might even help move both along more quickly, since Wallace Bajjali would no longer be constrained by federal grant requirements of the library building. And now he says the City is moving along with the library portion.
“I think there's some synergy and some benefit of having both projects located near each other, but this will allow staff to then prepare the RFP, to go out and get a consultant on board to work with the Library Board, work with the City, work with the residents on what we want a library to look like,” Anselm said.  

Though he could not give an exact date as to when ground will be broken, he did says the City is taking its time to make sure everything is done right.  

“I know the residents are anxious to see some dirt turned on some projects and I think staff is as well,” Anselm said, “but when you come with federal dollars, whether they are grants or loans there are some strings attached and we have to make sure, that we are doing everything we can to make sure we are protecting the city’s financial interest.”

To visit the City of Joplin's website, click here.
To visit the Joplin Library's website, click here.
To visit the Wallace Bajjali website, click here.  

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