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By Echo Menges
The Northeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission office, which is located in Memphis, has outgrown its building. Efforts to add-on to the current building began in 2022, and the expansion and remodeling project is expected to be complete around the first of February.
This project will allow the staff to grow as well, along with giving added avenues for educational and other meeting opportunities to benefit the six county region the NEMO RPC office currently serves including Adair, Clark, Knox, Lewis, Schuyler, and Scotland counties.
The expansion has allowed the current office, which was built in 2012, to nearly double in size, increasing the footprint of the building from roughly 2,000 to 4,000 square feet, according to NEMO RPC Executive Director Derek Weber.
The bulk of the project is the addition of a much larger meeting room, which was built onto the back/west side of the building.
“The meeting room will have an 85 inch television plus an OWL camera that can follow speakers for online classes, grant application meetings, and educational meetings. We can also have hybrid (in-person and online) meetings,” said Derek Weber, NEMO RPC Executive Director.
The remodeling piece of the project has included adding a hallway outside of the new meeting room, and a wall to the old meeting room, making two new office spaces in the building.
“We’re out of capacity for office space. This gives us the best of both worlds,” said Weber. “We will have one empty office at first.”
Before the project began, their building housed five functional offices. Eight offices will be available when the project is complete with the smallest office being converted into a much needed filing room.
The entire building will be tile carpeted, which will help with sound throughout the building, and special attention has been paid to keeping the background sound down inside the new meeting room. In the past, it has been a challenge to hear during meetings in the old somewhat cramped meeting space.
The cost of the project is roughly $240,000, which is being funded by NEMO RPC.
A local architect, Ken Shook of K.A. Design in Kirksville, and local contractor John Moots Construction of Schuyler County, were contracted to design and build out the project.
“I made sure that everything purchased went out (within) our six counties that we serve,” said Weber.
To save money on expenses, Weber volunteered to do all of the trim work himself during his off time.
“This will allow us to do a lot more,” said Weber.
The NEMO RPC office houses staff responsible for assisting counties and communities within those counties with transportation planning, economic development, public housing, solid waste management and more. The team lends expertise and assistance with local projects including strategic planning, grant writing and more. Learn more about NEMO RPC at nemorpc.org.