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MSSU Proposes A New Use For The Former Joplin Public Library Building

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    The Joplin City Council holds a special session to discuss taxes -- and a proposal for the old library building.
    Plans for the old building downtown involve Missouri Southern.
This is the former library building at 300 South Main.
    For the past three months, it has sat vacant...quiet...and without a purpose.
    But now, that could be changing, take a look at these photos.
    They're renderings of a proposal from Missouri Southern State University to convert the building into a new academic facility.    
    Something that's been underway for more than a year now.
Hodson: "It's been a very exciting process for both the team and the university, when we looked at a variety of locations a variety of facilities it really was an exciting process."
    Once upon a time, the Joplin Junior College, which is now MSSU, sat downtown, but then, 50 years ago, it moved to the Mission Hills Farms at Duquesne and Newman Road, and started a new chapter.
    Now, at least part of the university, could be returning home.
Hodson: "This is just a continuation of that 80 year history of working collaboratively with the community, to ensure both the city and the university are successful and vibrant."
    Hodson says a team with the university determined that the former library would effectively hold one department from the current campus, as for which one...
Hodson: "The size of the facility will dictate that to some regard.  It is 48,000 square feet, and so we know that we'll have to just select an academic department that can fully utilize the facility."
    The council approved moving forward -- allowing the city attorney to begin working on a contract with the university that best serves all interests.

    The council also approved a city property tax rate increase by about ? of a cent -- to 17.94¢ per $100 of assessed valuation.
     That increase will fund the health, parks and solid waste service departments.

Chris Warner
Reporter

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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