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Updated 06/06/2024 - KRPS 89.9 FM is broadcasting at 100% power

Joplin City Council to Hold Special Session Tonight to Discuss Future of Memorial Hall 

City of Joplin

Any number of options are available for the city council to act on regarding Memorial Hall, however at least two would require a vote from Joplin residents that could take place next Spring.

The Joplin City Council is in action tonight, holding a special work session. The never-ending saga of what to do with Joplin’s Memorial Hall will be front and center once again.

KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.

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Located at the corner of 8th & Joplin Streets, Joplin Memorial Hall stands as a memorial to the men and women of Joplin who served in the armed services.

The Robert S. Thurman Post of the American Legion spearheaded the community support for the construction of the Hall in July of 1923. By September 12, 1924, on National Defense Day, the City and hundreds from the community attended a cornerstone-laying ceremony.

Dedication and opening ceremonies were celebrated in October 1925. Now, nearly 100 years later Memorial Hall languishes, unopened to the public. If it were to reopen to the public it would cost the Joplin millions of dollars for rehab work.

Two years ago, a thirty-million-dollar ballot initiative failed by 12%. Tonight, the city council will debate what the next steps should be for the hall. According to city documents, a consultant has estimated that it would cost at least five million dollars just to demolish the building.

Another consultant says that it could cost at least eight million just to stabilize. The special session of the Joplin City Council gets underway tonight at 6.

Copyright 2024 Four States Public Radio. To see more, visit Four States Public Radio.

Since 2017 Fred Fletcher-Fierro has driven up Highway 171 through thunderstorms, downpours, snow, and ice storms to host KRPS’s Morning Edition. He’s also a daily reporter for the station, covering city government, elections, public safety, arts, entertainment, culture, sports and more. Fred has also spearheaded and overseen a sea change in programming for KRPS from a legacy classical station to one that airs a balance of classical, news, jazz, and cultural programming that better reflects the diverse audience of the Four States. For over two months in the fall of 2022 he worked remotely with NPR staff to relaunch krps.org to an NPR style news and information website.

In the fall of 2023 Fred was promoted to Interim General Manager and was appointed GM in Feburary of 2024.