Trail linking campus to mall, theater set to begin this fall


Victoria Gaytan | The Chart

The proposed trail, a partnership between Missouri Southern and the City of Joplin, would link the campus with Northpark Mall and Northstar Stadium Theatre.   

For the last several years, Missouri Southern officials have attempted to create a trail that would lead from the school, to Northpark Mall and Regal Northstar Stadium theater. This trail would likely create safety to many students who walk from the dorms, all the way down Rangeline, which can be very dangerous with the various amounts of traffic. Instead, these students would be able to walk along a safely built trail. 

In the spring, Robert Harrington, the current construction/risk manager at the physical plant, mentioned several obstacles throughout the years.

The challenges ranged from environmental studies to the creation of new contracts dealing with the trail, as well as the bridge connecting the trail. 

In the end, Harrington said Southern officials were able to work with the City of Joplin in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Transportation for the trail.

“Where we stand right now, is waiting to finish and update a contract with the city,” Harrington said.

This contract, he said, will determine who maintains the trail and the surrounding area — which was previously taken care of by mall and theater officials.

“Mall and the movie theater [officials] have recently written a deed for the land to the city,” Harrington said. 

In the past, he said, the mall and the theater were part of the obstacles in the past. Because the land is now city-owned, building the trail will be easier. 

At this point, Harrington said, all that is needed is for city and University officials to sign a new contract determining who will take care of the trail and surrounding land.

Harrington said Southern officials will clean the area around the trail, leaving city officials to clean up the trail for the first 10 years.

Overall, this trail would create a safe passage to mall and the theater from Missouri Southern and would only take three-quarters to half a mile to walk along the trail.

 Officials hope this will help students, faculty and staff, trying to walk to the theater or the mall, with an alternative route rather than along Range Line Road. 

This will be  especially beneficial for students who live on campus in the residence halls.

Harrington anticipates construction on the trail will begin later this fall.