JOPLIN HIGH SCHOOL
During the fall of 1915 Joplin voters passed a $350,000 bond issue to purchase property, as well
as construct and furnish a new high school. In 1916 the Kansas City architectural firm of Smith,
Rea, and Lovett, along with Austin Allen, were selected to design the high school. At the time
Mr. Allen had offices in Joplin and Kansas City. Less than a year later, school officials were
saddened by the news concerning the death of Austin Allen.
Ten out of twenty school district buildings were damaged or destroyed by the 2011 Joplin
Tornado, but this historic building was spared. Today it houses Administration, the Gifted
Center, Franklin Technology Center-Adult Education, and Memorial Education Center. The
building will continue to serve Joplin into the next 100 years.
Unfortunately, Mr. Allen never saw
the completion of this three-story red brick structure. Classes began at Joplin Hight School on
January 21, 1918, with 31 teachers consisting of 22 female instructors. Their maximum salary
was $80 a month. The august structure has been the most versatile building in the Joplin School
District. Students, representing ages from preschool to high school, passed through the storied
walls. For a decade the building was the home of Joplin Junior College. (1958-1967) – Excerpt
from the Joplin History & Mineral Museum 2021 calendar.
Joplin Schools Administration Building
310 W. Eighth Street | circa 1917