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Project File: Bouncing back

A devastating tornado that destroyed one school building and severely damaged others in De Soto, Mo., in May 2003 has helped pave the way for the De Soto 73 School District to add facilities to its schools.

The tornado demolished the junior high school gym, damaged a second gym at the adjoining high school, and destroyed the roof of another school. After the tornado, the school made plans to move the junior high school to the east side of the campus so it could inherit the existing high school gym, and to remodel and expand the high school in the old junior high area.

In August 2003, voters passed a $7.6 million bond issue that, combined with an insurance settlement of $1.25 million, allowed the district to begin the project. The high school will receive a new gym, library and student common space. New classrooms, lockers and a science program also are being addressed at the high school. The district also hopes to add kindergarten classrooms and a new cafeteria at one elementary school, and additional classroom space at another school. The targeted completion date is fall 2005.

The architect for this project is Kromm, Rikimaru & Johansen Inc. (St. Louis).

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