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Joplin High School and Franklin Technology Center Opens for Clas - KOAM TV 7

Joplin High School and Franklin Technology Center Opens for Classes

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As one door closes....another one opens, for Joplin High School and Franklin Technology Center students.  The 110 million dollar project delayed the start of school for a week, but today students began classes in their new state of the art building that marks the beginning of a new chapter.


3 years and 3 campuses later, Joplin High School and Franklin Technology Center students have a new place to call home.


"You can just look around and at first glance you can already tell this doesn't feel like your typical high school." says Senior, Tess Harmon.


The 2014-2015 school year began Tuesday with some being left a little overwhelmed by what they saw.


"It's big. Really big. And confusing, but I guess I'll get used to it throughout the school year." Junior, Zoe Medina says.

"This is a really big school. And there's going to be a lot of people." Shianne Smith says.


2,500 students have been housed in different locations since the 2011 tornado.

Faculty and staff say it was a tough transition.


"being split on two campuses was quite a challenge especially for our clubs and organizations. Our numbers were down a little bit so we're hoping to see those grow now that we're under one roof." says High School Business teacher, Kristi Mcgowen.


But through the challenges...comes a lesson learned for all.


"The experiences we've had over the last 3 years, there's really not a book out there that can tell you how to get from point A to point B, so we've been really...everyday we kind of take it a step at a time. We still have a long way as far as recovery is concerned." says Superintendent, Dr. CJ Huff.


"If there's anything the last 3 years have taught us, it would be how to adapt. Because we've all kind of taken it in strides and improvised and we made it work." Harmon explains.


But students and staff also say its utilizing what they didn't have before, like state of the art visual and audio equipment, is what will help them go farther.


"What people appreciate is the way the building is laid out, how we have plenty of space, room for kids to move. I think they'll be pleased with the size of the classrooms, the flexibility, the use of the spaces and the use of color. It's just a warm and friendly environment." Huff says.


"This school is going to be able to prepare me for what's after this in a way that not many facilities would be able to." Harmon says.


Other than some early traffic congestion and a few times getting lost, students and staff say the first day went just fine.

The campus is still not fully complete. The final touches on the gymnasium, and final construction to the performing arts center are scheduled to be finished this winter.



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