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Science and the Environment

New Public Safety Center Will Be Able to Withstand EF5 Tornado, Builders Say


After seeing in Joplin this year what carnage a tornado is capable of, Ozarks residents are taking a second look at their own homes and buildings. Greene County officials say the new headquarters they’re building will be able to withstand winds like the over-200 miles per hour forces that hit Joplin.  KSMU’s Jennifer Moore has details on the facility going up now.

The concrete has been poured, and metal beams project from the construction site into the air. The building going up in central Springfield is high tech in every sense of the word…and, as structural engineer Alan Mettemeyer explains, it’s also strong.

“[It has] deep foundations to rock, pinned into rock, to support all the uplift, overturning moments. And then the shell of the structure itself has eight-inch concrete pre-cast panels which will absorb all the impact from debris,” he said.

The building will be the new home of Springfield-Greene County 911 and the Office of Emergency Management.

It will also act as an emergency operations center in the event of a disaster: that means it will be the hub for over 70 federal, state and local response agencies to all work together.

Lastly, it will be home to Missouri’s Homeland Security Oversight Committee Region D—that’s an area that covers 18 counties in southwest Missouri.

Senator Roy Blunt was in Springfield today to get an update on the project.

The 55,000 square-foot building will be located at the intersection of Campbell and Nichols.

For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Moore.


The facility is scheduled to be ready by the middle of next year.