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Former Joplin Public Library Building Is Now In The Hands of Missouri Southern

Updated:

     The Missouri Southern Foundation now owns the old Joplin Public Library.
     The donation agreement was finalized tonight by city council members.
The agreement -- was met with just a pinch of resistance, from councilman Phil Stinnett, who said, although he has high hopes for the project, ethically, he couldn't vote yes, because he couldn't justify giving away a city asset.
With that, the vote was eight in favor, one against, and now, the Missouri Southern Foundation, can move forward with it's plans.
One of the first tasks, picking what departments will move in.
Brad Hodson, Missouri Southern Foundation: "Nearly every academic department on campus is giving that consideration right now, those proposals are due January 15th, and then we've had the task force that's been in place for over a year that will evaluate those options and make a recommendation to the university council, the president, and the board of governors, regarding the use of the space."
The biggest part of the project is funding -- which is all through donor contributions.
For some, the roughly $10 million dollar investment could be a little intimidating, but in this case...
Hodson: "We had donors approach us and say they were interested the project and so, while the formal campaign has not yet been launched, we certainly have had interest and we've even had gifts for the project that have come in without the launching of a formal campaign."
And the city is excited for the project as well.
Mayor Mike Seibert touting the potential draw in business to the existing retailers downtown just from activity at the library campus, there's something else in the future plans that really put a light in the Mayor's eye.
Seibert: "In other phases of this project they're looking at dormitories in the downtown areas, so, you look at those two combined projects and I really feel like that that's going to have a major impact on the face of our downtown for years and years and years to come."
     There's no official time line on work yet, but the Missouri Southern Foundation has 6 years to occupy the structure.
 

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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