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 seven Joplin Schools' students and one staff member. On Sept. 2, 2014, a three-year journey to build back bigger, better, and safer schools will come to an end with the opening of Joplin High School/Franklin Technology Center. The new school will be home to more than 2,200 students who have been attending classes at three temporary facilities since the disaster.