April 5, 2022 Ballot Question - Memorial Hall
On April 5, 2022, Joplin citizens voted down the question authorizing the City to issue general obligation bonds for the renovation and expansion of Memorial Hall.
History of Memorial Hall
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 today provides a gathering place for veterans’ activities and meetings. In October 2021, Memorial Hall, located at 212 West 8th Street, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Serving the Community
Through the years, citizens attended concerts, plays, sporting events, and community programs. The Hall has also served our citizens during national disasters such as the emergency hospital immediately following the May 2011 tornado. 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 June 2020, a partial roof collapse closed the building to the public. Later that year, the City Council authorized SFS Architecture to conduct a study to make a recommendation on the future use of Memorial Hall. City staff worked with the consultant to gather public input through multiple surveys and meetings. The community supported renovating Memorial Hall, indicating the facility should continue to honor our veterans and serve as a multipurpose facility as it has been during its first 100 years. Space should be flexible and provide for various needs which include community meeting spaces, performing arts spaces, and spaces for indoor recreation programs.
To provide for the wide variety of needs and spaces, the SFS Study recommendation is to complete a full renovation of Memorial Hall, along with an 8,500 square foot addition (annex) on the west side of the Hall.
The renovation will include reconstruction and improvements to the following:
- General Site and Exterior
- Basement Level
- Dressing Rooms
- Main Level
- Mezzanine Level
The addition (annex) will include:
- Multi-purpose recreation space
- Large event/banquet space for up to 400
- Separate entry (allowing addition only or addition with Memorial Hall )
- Catering/Warming Kitchen to serve just the addition
The renovation and expansion of Memorial Hall will create an indoor space that is as flexible as possible. It will create opportunities for indoor recreation programs, meetings, and events, as well as concerts and other entertainment. The flexibility is needed to serve Joplin as a Community Center well into the future, even as needs will change over time. The renovation and expansion of Memorial Hall will also enhance Connect2Culture’s Cornell Complex just to the North of the Hall. Both facilities should create synergy in Downtown Joplin, a growing, vibrant part of our community.
The Memorials to our Veterans will also be enhanced with the proposed renovation by vacating 8th Street to allow all the historical monuments that are now scattered in and around the building to be centrally located and create an impressive display of memorials honoring our war veterans and their families for their service. The area will be named Veterans Way and visible to all entering Memorial Hall.
Honor the Past. Imagine the Future.
The Four Pillars of the Hall
The four pillars in the front of Memorial Hall represent areas that this facility has served during the past 100 years. These are still important areas today and were significant in planning the proposed development of Memorial Hall for the future.
The City developed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Memorial Hall's proposed renovation to help citizens learn more about this initiative.
Check out this mailer sent to Joplin households about Question 1.
April 5 - Question 1 - Memorial Hall
"Shall the City Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri be authorized to issue general obligation bonds in the amount not to exceed $30,000,000 to reconstruct, renovate, expand, and improve Memorial Hall, and to improve related parking?”
Paid for by the City of Joplin | Nick Edwards, City Manager | 602 S. Main Street, Joplin, MO 64801