On April 5, 2022 Joplin citizens will once again have the opportunity to participate in one the cornerstones of our democratic republic. On this day, Joplin citizens will be able to vote for and elect fellow citizens to serve on the Joplin City Council and the Joplin School Board. In addition, the citizens of Joplin will have an opportunity to decide the future of the iconic and historic Memorial Hall. Question 1 of the ballot will seek voter approval for the City of Joplin to issue general obligation bonds in the amount not to exceed $30,000,000 to reconstruct, renovate, expand, and improve Memorial Hall, and to improve related parking.
Built in 1925, Memorial Hall has faithfully served the community in many capacities throughout it’s 95 plus year history. First and foremost, it was originally designed and built to commemorate and memorialize our veterans while providing a venue for community events and gatherings. However, as we all know too well, due in part to its age, Memorial Hall has fallen into disrepair and the citizens must now take a proactive role in deciding it’s future.
It is my sincere hope that when the citizens of Joplin go to the polls on April 5th, that they will consider the value of having a renovated and expanded Memorial Hall as a community event center. A renovated and expanded Memorial Hall will have both a direct and indirect impact on our community and can provide opportunities for community participation, cultural and economic development, expanded recreational and educational programming, and fellowship. In a society that has become too polarized, community event centers offer a wonderful place for citizens to come together in support of each other and their community.
I have been involved in the hospitality industry for nearly 45 years and during my career I have been involved with numerous event facilities. While some of these facilities were purposely designed to support large convention and association events, the most numerous users of these facilities were local and area residents, companies, and organizations. These events included weddings, celebrations of life, birthday parties, graduation parties, baby showers, bridal showers, retirement parties, second-hand sales, local trade shows, fundraisers for local charities, memorabilia and collectors shows, local business training sessions, holiday parties, etc. While there are several privately owned and operated event facilities in our area, I believe the demand for space exceeds the current capacity. As a result, many of these events are held outside of the city benefitting other communities and states. A renovated and expanded Memorial Hall would provide an outstanding venue for these types of community events and would provide a continuing revenue stream to maintain Memorial Hall well into the future and provide additional tax revenues to support our city services; public safety, sanitation, water, roads, etc.
It is my sincere desire to see a renovated and expanded Memorial Hall as part of Joplin’s future and I encourage every citizen to vote YES on Question 1. Please help our community to Honor the Past while working to Imagine the Future.
Pete Hall, General Manager
Residence Inn by Marriott-Joplin