In what could have been a first of its kind meeting, the leaders of Missouri Southern State University, Joplin School, the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, and Joplin city officials all met in the same room Tuesday night. They converged to discuss the future of the former downtown site of the Joplin Public Library that has been vacant for over four years. Missouri Southern announced that the university would relocate its Small Business Development Center from the Plaster Center to the former Library as a part of Operation Launchpad.
Southern President Dean Van Galen on why now is the right time for this project, “I think Joplin is at a critical point in terms of its future. It’s so important to attract and retain talent. We need to keep and educate students from this area in this community, and certainly, Missouri Southern is committed to playing an important role in that.” Next week, the Joplin City Council will decide whether to put a 10 million dollar question on next April’s ballot to raise funds to remodel the former Library constructed in the ‘1970s.