Joplin launches survey, sets public meeting for future of Memorial Hall

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Joplin Memorial Hall (KOAM Photo 2020)

Release from the City of Joplin

JOPLIN, Mo. – When was the last time you visited Memorial Hall in Joplin? What type of event was it? What did you think of the facility?  These are just a few of the questions in a survey asking citizens about this 95-year old facility located at 212 West 8th Street.

The City is interested to hear from our citizens on what they believe the future could be for this community building and adjacent property and have hired SFS Architecture, Kansas City, Mo., to conduct a thorough study of Memorial Hall. This firm will lead a team of consultants to perform a building conditions assessment, conduct a market analysis, seek community feedback and guidance, evaluate a variety of options based on the feedback they receive, and provide a business plan and cost estimate for the recommended future use of the facility.

The survey is the first step to hear from the public on their preferences for Memorial Hall. This short survey will take about ten minutes to complete and provide feedback to the City. It will be open from August 21 through September 4, and is found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JoplinMemorialHall . There will also be future online feedback opportunities as the study evolves.

The City is also hosting three public meetings to discuss this important landmark in Joplin. The first meeting will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 27 at the cafeteria of the Memorial Education Center, 825 Pearl Street, formerly Memorial Middle School and also Memorial High School. Please use the west entrance of the building. The cafeteria is located just to the right when entering the building. Parking is available in the lot on the west side of Pearl Street. This meeting will be a town hall format seeking open and general feedback.

“Everyone has a memory about Memorial Hall,” said Paul Bloomberg, Parks and Recreation Director. “We want to hear about their memories and learn what they think the future could be for this community building. We ask everyone to please take the survey and participate in the public meetings.”

For nearly 100 years Memorial Hall has played a diverse role in our community. It was built in 1925 as a war veteran memorial to honor the men and women who gave their lives for our freedoms. It has served as the mainstay to welcome home our soldiers and still today provides a gathering place for veterans’ activities and meetings. Through the years, citizens attended concerts, plays, sporting events and community programs.  With such a wide history of events, it holds many memories for the community. Unfortunately, this 95-year-old building has fallen in disrepair.

In most recent years utilization of Memorial Hall has evolved with new venues opening such as several area casinos that now offer concerts and other productions once hosted in Joplin. Joplin Schools included a performing arts center to seat nearly 1,200 people when it rebuilt in 2014. In 2022 Connect 2 Culture will open The Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex just north of Memorial Hall. The Cornell Complex will offer a 470-seat performance hall and other amenities. With these additions in our community, it is time for the City to take a fresh look at the future of Memorial Hall to better serve our community.

“This building has served Joplin for many years and now we want to hear how our citizens think it could evolve to better serve our community,” said Bloomberg. “It’s an exciting time and we want our public to be a part of this. And no matter what the decision is about Memorial Hall, the public can be reassured that the Memorial for our war veterans will continue to be in our community. We recognize this as a significant historical monument to honor our war veterans for their service and an important reminder to all who visit Joplin.”

Additional public meetings about Memorial Hall’s future will take place on October 1 and October 29. The locations of these meetings will be announced as the date draws near. More information about the Memorial Hall Study along with the survey results will be available at www.joplinmo.org/1093/Memorial-Hall-Study.

For more information about the Memorial Hall study, please contact Bloomberg at 417-625-4750.

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Joplin Memorial Hall (KOAM Photo 2020)