Construction on New Library Ahead of Schedule

Construction on New Library Ahead of Schedule

The City of Joplin is still working to recover from the 2011 tornado. A large part of that effort is the 20th Street corridor. City officials say that 1 major project is ahead of schedule.

Through the bustle of the construction site, the outline of where the new building will stand can be seen. Construction workers were able to lay foundation for the new Joplin Public Library.

“The last few months have primarily been on the site grading, making sure the site is level, clearing off the remaining debris, trees, things like that. They started pouring foundation and footers,” says Tony Robyn with Joplin Planning, Development and Neighborhood Services.

This progress puts the project 1 month ahead of schedule. News that surprises Library Director Jacque Gage.

“With construction beginning in the winter, you just kind of hold your breath like when is there going to be a blizzard or a snow storm that really sets things back,” she says.

Gage adds that the current library had no way of growing and changing with the community. The new building will be much better for serving all residents.

“Wheelchairs can’t even get down the aisles, and so if someone in a wheelchair and wants to browse the shelves themselves, they can only see what’s on the ends of the shelves, they can’t get in the middle to see them and that’s kind of disappointing,” says Gage.

At the new library, residents will be able to do a lot more than just browse the shelves for a good read. There will be more and larger meeting rooms, maker spaces, and the latest technology.

“As the society becomes more technological, we are adding technology to the library so that people can use this as a place to learn,” says Gage.

But there’s still a long way to go before residents can enjoy all that will be within the walls of the library, walls that will be going up by mid-march. And now workers have time to spare should they run into any other problems down the line.

The library is still expected to be completed in May of next year.

And you can see how construction is coming along on the corner of 20th and Connecticut Streets without having to drive by. An on site camera refreshes every 3 minutes — you can view it at