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Much of Goodman Elementary was reduced to rubble in April 2017 tornado.

Insurance settlement will enable Missouri district to rebuild school destroyed in tornado

Goodman Elementary in the Neosho district was destroyed in an April 2017 tornado.

The Neosho (Mo.) school board has reached agreement with its insurance carrier on a settlement that will be used to rebuild an elementary school destroyed last year by a tornado.

The Joplin Globe reports that the Missouri United School Insurance Council will reimburse the district $10.7 million, which will cover the cost of a new Goodman Elementary School in Goodman, Mo.

Goodman was severely damaged in April 2017 when a tornado struck the community after school hours. The facility could not be salvaged, so the district moved ahead with plans to replace it.

Superintendent Dan Decker recommended to the board that it plan a budget of $10.5 million to replace the school, using the $200,000 difference for any unforeseen expenses.

The board is also negotiating a $1.6 million settlement with its insurance company for building code upgrades as they replace the school, although that will not prevent the project from going forward, says Meagan Spangler, district spokesperson.

A groundbreaking will be held later this spring. Plans call for a 55,000-square-foot structure to house grades  prekindergarten through fourth grade. The school is expected to be completed by summer 2019.

Since Goodman was destroyed, the Neosho district has displaced the 330 displaced pupils and 42 staff members at Neosho Middle School.

The district also is waiting on approval of a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to build a gymnasium that would double as a storm shelter and could accommodate approximately 700 to 800 people.



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