On May 22, 2011, an EF5 tornado tore through Joplin and Duquesne, Missouri, leaving a 13-mile path of destruction. The tornado damaged or destroyed more than one third of the city, including thousands of homes and businesses and half of the school district. Most tragic, 161 lives were lost, including 7 Joplin Schools' students and 1 staff member. On Sept. 2, 2014, a three-year journey to build back bigger, better, and safer schools came to an end with the opening of Joplin High School/Franklin Technology Center. The new school is home to more than 2,200 students who have been attending classes at three temporary facilities since the disaster.