Joplin, MO (SNS) – Fifteen mobile science labs will begin arriving on campus Monday, Feb. 9, to allow for the expected renovations to Reynolds Hall.

The labs being delivered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency were most recently put to use by Joplin High School at their Northpark Mall campus following the May 22, 2011 tornado.

The labs will initially be located at the south end of Lot 34 behind the Physical Plant. When renovations to Reynolds Hall begin, they will be placed behind the building for access to utilities.

Lot 34 will be closed for several days next week to allow delivery trucks room to maneuver.

During a visit to campus last fall, Gov. Jay Nixon announced that he would request more than $5.2 million in funding for much-needed renovations to Reynolds Hall. The Missouri General Assembly passed a bill with bipartisan support that provides an additional bonding capacity of up to $200 million for repairs and renovation projects at community colleges and four-year institutions throughout the state.

Reynolds Hall houses the biology, environmental health, physical and chemical sciences and mathematics programs. A Master Facility Plan in 2012 listed Reynolds as the building in most critical need of renovation.

After the closure of the mall campus, the labs were turned over to the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency and stored at a location on Davis Boulevard. The agency then advertised their availability online.

“When we saw that they would be available, we jumped,” said Bob Harrington, director of the Physical Plant.

Dr. C.J. Huff, superintendent of Joplin Schools, said the district was grateful that FEMA made the modular labs available for student use after the tornado.

“These classrooms provided safe and comfortable learning spaces for our kids so that we could continue to provide them with a quality educational environment as we rebuilt,” said Huff. “I am happy to know that these spaces will continue to serve students at MSSU as it grows and expands educational opportunities for the region.”

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