JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Baptist Convection (MBC) Executive Board voted April 9 to approve $80,000 to add 6,400 square-feet onto the High Point Annex that will serve as Disaster Relief (DR) Headquarters. That is approximately the amount left over from the sale of the former DR property at Marshall, plus up to $50,000 from the Baptist Building capital reserve account.
The 80×80-foot extension will bring the total footprint of the facility to nearly 25,000 square-feet to house the 32-ton DR tractor-trailer and other large equipment. Its higher ceilings will let the truck drive through the facility, and the expanded floor space will allow the mobile kitchen to be “unfolded” and set up inside for training events.
Baptist Builders and other volunteers have been working on rehabbing interior rooms and adding showers since its purchase late last year. A volunteer team of professional builders will assemble the new addition to the building at no cost, with additional money for electric work and other expenses coming from Disaster Relief’s budget.
The former horse barn outside of town currently has 14-foot ceilings, and wide garage-style doors. The 18,000-square-foot building houses a DR forklift, four generators, water purification equipment, a Gator four-wheel-drive vehicle, and a skid loader. Two mobile kitchens – each capable of cooking 35,000 hot meals a day – are parked there, along with two shower trailers. (This in addition to numerous DR units and trailers that will continue to be stationed at churches and associations throughout the state.)
The building, which was at one point converted to a warehouse for a computer manufacturer, is used for storage at the moment, but may eventually be able to host small meetings, and possibly include a large recording/video studio. It will become a DR command center, a maintenance facility, and be used for training disaster relief volunteers.
Most of the equipment had been stored at a DR building in Marshall. Its location made rapid DR deployment harder, and the caretaker is no longer able to supervise the facility. The MBC sold that building for $300,000, and purchased the High Point building for $218,000 leaving a little more than $80,000 for renovation. About $50,000 has been spent, leaving $30,000 to go toward the extension.