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  The Bridge, Page 60The Bridge


JMH Construction
111 W. 3rd Street, Joplin, MO 64801
jmhjones@sbcglobal.net


LOCATION: Joplin, Missouri 
Date Bid: Nov 2004
Construction Period: Nov 2004 to Mar 2006
Total Square Feet: 62,056 Site: 25 acres.
Number of Buildings: Three attached.
Building Size: First floor, 43,724; second floor, 18,332; total, 62,056 square feet.
Building Height: Mezzanine, 24’; floor to floor, 12’; total, 30’.
Basic Construction Type: New. Foundation: Slab-on-grade. Exterior Walls: Pre-engineered building. Roof: Metal. Floors: Concrete. Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall.


STRUCTURAL/MECHANICAL/ELECTRICAL ENGINEER: Somerville, Inc. - 2100 Riverside Drive, Green Bay, WI 54301
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Joseph Schmitt & Sons, Inc. - 2104 Union Avenue, Sheboygan, WI 53082
CIVIL ENGINEER: R.E. Lee & Associates, Inc. - 4664 Golden Pond Park Court, Oneida, WI 54155


"The Bridge" youth center in Joplin, Missouri demonstrates the inherent advantages of metal building systems for many projects. Cost efficiency, long clear spans and speed of construction played to the program requirements for this 62,056 square foot complex. 

Sometimes described as a "youth recreation mall", this facility began drawing thousands of teenagers weekly from a 250-mile radius of Joplin. Supported in part by a consortium of churches, the building's activities and infrastructure are clearly in tune with their music, sports and other interests. The three-building complex also rents 5,694 square feet of mezzanine space of one building for five classrooms and office areas used for an alternative school for at-risk youth referred by ten area school districts. The rental income helps the seasonal cash flow.

Without many facilities elsewhere as a model for the mix of activities, input was sought from both adults and teenagers in informal surveys. Staffing and security issues were carefully addressed, along with needed staffing and adult supervision. The facility's underlying outreach mission helps recruit adult volunteers while helping to control overhead costs. Those formally employed, as well as volunteers, are carefully screened and trained in the mission of The Bridge and contemporary youth culture. In addition to the favorable youth to adult ratio, a system of 60 digital, color surveillance cameras enhances security. Off-duty, plain clothes law enforcement officers are brought in if crowd sizes are expected to exceed a certain level during concerts or other special events.

John Q. Hammons, a hotel and commercial property developer, donated 60 acres of strategically located property accessible from Interstate Highway 44. The site is large enough to eventually develop ball fields and other outdoor activity features. With the land and financing secured, a metal building systems solution presented the most cost-effective construction and the long, clear spans and interior heights. 

Butler Manufacturing Company supplied the metal building systems, through JMH Construction, a Joplin-based Butler Builder(R), that led the design/build project. McElwee & Associates provided design services on the project team. These included, single-slope Butler structural framing for the center building flanked by buildings with double-sloped roofs at a 45-degree. angle off each side. Both have expandable endwalls. All three have Butler MR-24(R) standing seam metal roof system with 8-inches of insulation and Butlerib(R) II wall panels with 4-inches of reinforced insulation. The heavy insulation barriers complement the efficiency of electric heat pumps that supply year-round air conditioning.

The individual buildings have been christened as "The Autumn Ramp Park", a 20,000 square foot indoor skateboard and BMX bike ramp facility with an equipment and apparel shop. The "Foundry" on the opposing side of the main building has a 7,000 square foot concert venue also forged from a metal building. It features a performance stage, state-of-the-art sound and lighting system, juice bar, booth and bar seating, box office and pool tables. 

"The Bridge" - clearly the signature building and cornerstone at the heart of the complex - has 16,500 square feet on the ground level and 8,900 square feet of mezzanine. Exposed structural steel across the facade symbolically suggests an arched bridge superstructure. This main building has a caged court for basketball and volleyball, a rock-climbing obelisk and a flat climbing wall, concessions, Internet cafe and videogame/network arcade. 

In addition to having the resources that appeal to contemporary youth, the buildings will easily adapt to their changing interests. In fact, The Bridge could serve as the template for other, new-generation youth centers elsewhere across the country. 


DIV. 7: EIFS: Dryvit; Standing Seam: Butler MR-24®.
DIV. 8: Entrances & Storefronts, Windows: Kawneer; Glazing: Oldcastle; Overhead Doors: CHI.
DIV. 13: Pre-Engineered Building: Butler® Manufacturing.
DIV. 14: Elevators: Schindler. 

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