The Joplin School District’s Franklin Technology Center was established in 1937 and will be celebrating 75 years in 2012. Since 1965, the campus was located at the corner of 20th and Iowa. It was completely destroyed by an EF-5 tornado on May 22, 2011. In the wake of the worst disaster in Joplin’s history, the School District vowed to re-open the Franklin Tech Center, as well as all of the others destroyed and damaged schools, by the start of school on August 17, 2011.
The monumental task of planning and constructing spaces for a vocational technology center in less than 63 days was embraced by SDA Architects, RE Smith Construction Co, and numerous sub-consultants and sub-contractors. These companies, and individuals, exhibited an unusual commitment to achieving this task, by cooperation and collaboration by all parties, endless overtime and weekend hours, even while many of them have also been directly impacted by the storm.
The 50,000 sf warehouse was intensively renovated in 65 days to house the Franklin Technology Center Administration offices as well provide the technology intensive spaces for Welding Tech Shops, HVAC Tech Shops, Auto Tech and Auto Collision Shops, Construction Tech, Engineering Drafting, Health Occupations I & II, Certified Nurse Assistant Program, Computer Technology and Culinary Arts I & II, which included a full commercial kitchen and training lab.