EDITORIAL: Program a win for students, downtown

Sep. 1—The phrase win-win gets overworked, to the point of becoming trite.

But this time, for Joplin, it's exactly the right phrase.

Students at Franklin Tech win. So does the city's historic downtown.

Four engineering students at Franklin Technology Center will get real-world experience working on the steps to prepare an old downtown warehouse building for rehabilitation. It's called the Bull's-Eye Building, 216 Commercial Alley, north of Seventh Street and Virginia Avenue, because of yellow and black target mural painted on its west wall.

Building owners Terry and Donna Donaldson and Franklin Tech instructor Casey Tullis will help guide the students on the project. The owners said they haven't decided what use the building will eventually have, but it could become residential property or be developed for commercial uses.

The students — three from Joplin High School and one from College Heights — come from Franklin Tech's drafting and engineering departments, and they will first study the building's history, construction and determine whether or not it qualifies for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Tullis told us: "Then the students will go into the planning process. We'll get with Terry and find out exactly what he's looking for in the remodel and they'll spend some time doing the remodel plans."

Roxie Yost, a senior at Joplin High School, who said she is interested in architecture, told us she "took this class to see what I can learn about it."

This is a great program, providing a great opportunity for students and also helping to recognize and preserve the historic character downtown. This one really is a win-win.

We hope other schools and communities can copy the program.