Officials to visit Joplin's 'mall school'

September 22, 2011 - 3:05 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Thursday will visit a high school in Joplin, Mo., known as the "mall school."

That's the shopping mall school where 11th- and 12th-grade students started going to classes last month after Joplin's high school was destroyed in a tornado. The students are going to school there while their high school is rebuilt.

The May 22 tornado either destroyed or damaged 10 schools in the area, at an estimated cost of $151 million. Some schools have been consolidated, and Joplin's middle school is temporarily in an industrial park.

The twister killed 160 people and leveled thousands of buildings in the community.

The government officials say they want to stop by to praise the community's effort to reopen the schools.