Joplin’s 28 city-owned buildings are largely in excellent, good, or fair condition, but an extensive overhaul of a building is in need of, according to the architects.
In a preliminary report to the City Council at a recent meeting, a regulatory plan was outlined which establishes an inventory of the city’s buildings and their conditions and the interventions that could be carried out to accommodate the current functions.
Of the 28 buildings, 12 are in excellent condition, three are classified as good and 13 are listed in the fair category.
A rating of fair means they are considered to be in normal condition but need remodeling or repairs to suit current use. None of the city’s structures were found to be poor or understaffed, said Kelly Stindt, of SFS Architecture in Kansas City. Both Stindt and another SFS principal adviser, Kwame Smith, worked on the city-commissioned report and gave the council presentation.
Two heavily used buildings rated as Fair are City Hall, 602 S. Main St., which houses many city offices and boardrooms; and the Donald E. Clark Public Safety and Justice Center at 303 E. Third St.
The Third Street downtown, which houses the main police station, main fire station, municipal courthouse and city attorney offices, is in need of a major renovation to add necessary space and improve safety features and the prison, the architects discussed at the recent council meeting. Additionally, a Police Department Storage Barn on the grounds of the Justice Building is also considered fair.
A list of the top 20 needs of these two buildings focuses on the repair or replacement of heating and air, electrical, plumbing and water systems that are expected to be done within five years, according to the report.
The justice center needs
Renovations are needed in both buildings, although a large number of capital projects to reconfigure and expand the Third Street building are detailed. The report lists seven remodel and add-on options ranging from $29 million to $35 million on the low end to $45 million to $48 million.
One particular need, the consultants said, is an addition for firefighters. The current station garage and shop for storing and maintaining fire trucks are not large or tall enough for today’s fire engines.
“We will do a space analysis to come up with future needs and conceptual options and follow up on refining those options to select which one is the preferred or best option going forward and providing documentation for that particular option,” said Stindt, of recommendations in the Third Street building.
It was built 55 years ago and originally also served as the town hall with a police and municipal court wing to the east and fire department to the west.
The prison has challenges and needs to be remodeled to have more space. Up-to-date security features are also needed in all different areas of the downtown justice department, the council was told.
Questionnaires were sent to those who work at City Hall and the Justice Center to provide their assessments of what works in the buildings and what is needed. This will lead to final recommendations on what needs to be done and a full report will be provided to city officials later, the council was told.
Also listed as righteous are Joplin Department of Health, 321 E. Fourth St.; Fire station no. 3 at 2717 E. Newman Road; Fire station no. 5 at 3223 S. Texas Ave.; the old General Aviation Terminal and Airport Fire Barn, both on Dennis Weaver Drive and Missouri Highway 171 at Joplin Regional Airport; the MAPS trolley storage centre; and another MAPS and Vehicle Building. Additionally, the fifth street and kentucky avenue fifth street and kentucky avenue building is listed, as are the public works department sign shop and central garage.
Chad Greer, principal of CGA Architects, 716 S. Main St., outlined work that could be done to update City Hall. In addition to a plan already approved by the council to remodel the northwest corner of the first floor as offices for a neighborhood improvement staff, light renovations are expected to be performed at the offices of the Convention and Visitors Bureau at the corner northeast of the main floor.
In addition, a ceiling should be installed above the human resources department offices, which are open to the main first-floor ceiling and do not protect confidential discussions, Greer said.
A reorganization of the second floor offices of the city manager and the public information office is recommended. The third floor needs additional workspace for the city’s computer offices, and the accounting department needs more space. On the fifth floor, where the boardrooms are located along with a boardroom and larger meeting room, there should be flexible space for boardroom, press conferences and additional meeting space.
Dan Johnson, director of public works, described the initial report’s findings as “some good options to consider” for planning.