What’s next for Emerson Elementary?

Joplin residents living near the Emerson Elementary School say there’s critters coming from the building.
The school has been vacant since it was damaged in the May 2011 tornado.
It’s the home of the Eagles, Emerson Elementary was established in 1930.
Two years ago more than 200 students, kindergarten through 5th grade, filled the halls.
As of today the building sits empty and nearby residents are concerned.
“I like to see the building taken down or closed up better than what it is or at least for an exterminator to go through there,” said nearby homeowner Cecil Potter.
Potter, a life-long Joplin resident says, the school has a new mascot.
“I’ve killed over 100 mice and they just keep coming and coming.”
Potter says the unwanted mice are taking over his home.
“They are coming from the school that’s the only place I could they could live, and as it gets colder the last few nights it’s been ridiculous.
Mike Johnson Director of Construction argues that the building is free of vermin.
“I didn’t see any I looked for them I did see bait out and there wasn’t dead ones lying around, it’s just an empty building,” said Johnson. Post tornado the district was in a frenzy to find temporary space to house students and rebuild, one reason Emerson was put on the back burner. And because the building is historic the federal government would have to approve before it’s take down.
“If we just demolish the building without going through the process that particular site that piece of real estate will never be eligible for federal money in the future,” said Johnson.
Plans for the future of the school now lie in the hands of the district’s superintendent.
“We could put the bid document on the street fairly quickly,” said Johnson.
Potter says, “They put me off and tell me it will be 30 days 60 days 90 day the building still sits as it did.”
Emerson students will attend Irving Elementary once it’s completed in January of 2014.