A Look Inside Joplin's New Irving Elementary School

By KOLR10 News

Published 01/09 2014 08:12AM

Updated 01/10 2014 03:06AM

An inside look at one of Joplin's three new schools that have been rebuilt since the May 2011 tornado.
The kids are back in school today and getting settled into their brand new schools.

And one the  people behind the new Irving Elementary is Michael Sapp with Sapp Design Associates Architects.  He is here to talk to us about the process that went into the design and construction of this new school - one of three new elementary schools built after the destructive Joplin tornado.  (interview in video above)

The kids had a lot of input about the things they wanted in this new school, chief among them - lots of color.
The new Irving Elementary School building is approximately 85,000 sq. ft., primarily on one level, with the south classroom wing being two story "split-level".  The building is designed for up to 600 students, K-5. The north classroom wing or "learning center" will house the Kindergarten and First Grade, and will be one story.  Each classroom wing will have separate entrances to facilitate loading and unloading at start and end of school each day.

Among the new features are FEMA safe rooms that will provide near absolute protection during an EF5 tornado. These FEMA safe rooms can house the school's whole student population and over 800 people from the surrounding community, while serving a duel purpose as specialized classroom spaces and the school's main gymnasium.

Sapp Design was selected for the Irving and Emerson Elementary project. The new elementary school combines both Irving and Emerson into one new 21st Century Elementary School. The idea was not to just build back, but to build back stronger.

Joplin's Irving Elementary from SDA Architects on Vimeo.

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