JOPLIN, Mo. - A Catholic parish in Joplin broke ground on a $13.5 million project that will replace buildings destroyed by the May 2011 tornado.
The project will replace St. Mary's Catholic Church, a rectory, elementary school, parish center and offices that were demolished by the tornado.
The Joplin Globe reports that the project the new church will be larger than the older church and the school will be built with room to grow.
The Rev. Justin Monaghan said during Thursday's ceremony that the new school will be the first priority. The pre-school through fifth-grade school is scheduled to be completed by next August. The church is expected to be ready by Christmas of 2014.