Joplin High School After Won-Door

Joplin High School rebuild

Won-Door part of Joplin High School rebuild

By Sharon Haddock


Joplin High School Rebuild Before Won-DoorJOPLIN, Mo. — When a monster tornado hit Joplin, Missouri, on May 22, in 2011, it

blew through with winds of over 200 mph and cut a wide six-mile stretch of destruction through the area.

Joplin High School Rebuild After Won-DoorThe E5 (Enhanced Fugita) storm, the deadliest tornado on record since officials began keeping record in 1950 and the 7th deadliest in United States history, destroyed 7,500 homes, 550 businesses, blasted open a hospital, several schools and caused the deaths of 161 people.

Joplin High School was one the schools torn apart by the storm's fury leaving 2,200 students left without a home base for their high school classes. (They've since been meeting for class at a Joplin mall.)

By the start of the 2014 school year, though, a new school will be finished — a spacious, 3-story school with a bigger gymnasium, a performing arts hall and an impressive plan for safer spaces within 450,000 square feet built up against a hill on the east side of Joplin.

Won-Door Corporation is an important part of that rebuild with 14 FireGuard doors in the $92 million school, on schedule to open within the 2014 school year.

Robin O'Rourke, an architect with the DLR Group in Omaha, Nebraska, said the 14 doors separate various areas so that in the event of an emergency, each area would be blocked off from the specific situation.

"We typically use Won-Door," she said, noting that choosing the FireGuard accordion doors was really a logical decision based on the building code and the needs.

Won-Door District Manager David Larsen explained that the FireGuard door system is designed to operate using a computer which can remotely operate and control the doors from a central location, including locking and unlocking upon demand.

"The primary feature of the school design is being able to compartmentalize the building into quadrants that can be isolated from the remainder of the building in the event of an emergency situation," Larsen said.

The new school is combined with the Franklin Technology Center, which will include green features and a natural creek running through the middle of the property.

The project is being paid for with donations, FEMA funds and insurance reimbursements.