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Partial Roof Collapse In Downtown Joplin Leaves Building's Futur - KOAM TV 7

Partial Roof Collapse In Downtown Joplin Leaves Building's Future Uncertain

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

     The future of a building in downtown Joplin that's about to celebrate 100 years is in doubt.
     The Howsmon Building in the 500-block of South Virginia Avenue.
It started with a call to the city - a resident saying they had noticed a large hole in the roof of the Howsmon Building.
Sam Anselm, Joplin City Manager: "We don't know exactly when the roof actually collapsed, we were notified late last week, that there was an issue, so we sent someone over to check it out and walk through the building."
The building has been held in trust by Jasper County for several years due to uncollected back taxes.
And although the building has sat abandoned for those years - the city has attempted to use what limited funding it has set aside for dilapidated structures, to attempt to keep the building intact, should someone want to take it over.
Anselm: "We've been through the building in the past, and a couple of years ago actually, we went through the building we saw some damage to the roof, but we were able to do some measures that we thought were going to temporarily at least, resolve some of the issues of water running into the building."
Unfortunately, those repairs, didn't last.
Then comes the issue of road closures, until a structural engineer can assess the building, Virginia avenue will be closed soon south of 5th street - for about a half block.
5th street, and parking along fifth, at this time, will *not* be affected.
And here on the window - a cry for help from the building - a cry that fell on deaf ears.
Anselm: "My hope, I'm holding out hope that there is still an opportunity to salvage the building, but, again, we won't know for sure until we have that structural analysis complete."
Anselm says the city engineer does not believe the lofts attached to this building on main street are in any danger at this time.
Anselm tells us there's not a definitive time line yet for the outside engineering firm to complete its analysis of the building.
     Until it's completed...that section of Virginia will remain closed.

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Chris Warner
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A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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