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"World's mightiest naval reserve" in Joplin set to be demolished - KOAM TV 7

"World's mightiest naval reserve" in Joplin set to be demolished

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Courtesy:  Newspapers.com Courtesy: Newspapers.com
Courtesy:  Newspapers.com Courtesy: Newspapers.com
Joplin, MO -

Demolition will soon begin on a unique piece of Joplin history, one that has ties to the military.  At the corner of Schifferdecker Park sits a building that used to be an important navy training center.

But the time has come for this piece of history to become history.

Things have changed a lot from how they were 67 years ago.  This Joplin building alone is proof of it.

"A lot of people there.  A lot of good good guys," says former naval reservist Jack Cossairt.

Cossairt speaks in past tense about this former naval reserve training building.  Cossairt frequented the building during the late 1960's and early 70's.

"We shipped out from there and went to either Great Lakes or San Diego for training," says Cossairt.

Let your imagination take front seat for a bit while we look over a Joplin newspaper article from Sunday, September 25, 1949.  Dignitaries were planning to come to town for the ribbon cutting, if you will, of this new building.  It was complete with offices, a drill hall, armory, and places to learn about electronics, radio, and radar.  The Blue Angels were set to perform.  This was the "happening place" in Joplin.  Joplin itself was proud, and the Navy was thankful.

But for many years now, the building has been abandoned.  The training center, once important to our nation's defense, is too dangerous for visitors.  Joplin's parks and recreations director says there's dangerous amounts of asbestos in the building.

"Even the glue on the floor has asbestos.  I mean, it's all there," says Parks and Recreation Director Scott Garrie.

Vandalism has also turned the building into a shell of what it once was.  Demolition will soon begin to remove the building.  But the foundation will stay, so the parks and recreations department can maybe use the land for storage.

Memories will stay, too.

"Times change," says Cossairt.

Demolition is set to begin once a contract is signed with the contractor.  The majority of the $140,000 cost will go towards asbestos removal.  The demolition will take about 90 days, with asbestos removal taking about half of that time.

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