Proposed design revealed for Hannibal Innovation Campus; local employer says Proposition Innovation will be ‘great thing’

Hannibal Innovation Campus

The proposed design for the front of the Hannibal Innovation Campus was on display at the Hannibal Public School District's Open House at 4417 McMasters in Hannibal. | Megan Duncan

HANNIBAL, Mo. — The Hannibal Public School District recently offered a peek into what the Hannibal Innovation Campus will look like if Hannibal voters vote yes on Proposition Innovation on April 2.

The concept to design and transform the now empty 88,000-square-foot building, which once housed Sutherlands, into a career-tech educational hub was displayed at an open house on March 19.

Joseph Knochel, project manager and senior engineer at Klingner & Associates, said the design is a result of feedback and input from vested parties.

“We met with administrators, key stakeholders, students and all of the instructors to establish the programming for the building and identify the owner needs and owner requirements for this space,” he said. “We’ve gone through multiple concepts to lay out the floor plan that fits this building and addresses their program needs.”

Floor plan on display Hannibal Public School District’s open house on March 19. | Megan Duncan

The building’s proposed design allows a main entry dubbed the Hall of Innovation, a student commons area, multipurpose space, and areas for automotive, welding, machine tool, culinary arts, cosmetology and a tentative area for health services.

Knochel said the new space will provide a better educational experience for students at Hannibal Public School and the six surrounding counties it serves. 

“If you’ve been in their current space, it’s very crowded. The kids have to share a lot of machines and equipment. Here, they will be able to give them more space and more equipment, so kids can get trained properly,” Knochel said. 

Knochel said the automotive lab will double its lifts from four to eight. 

“They had a large class of 20 kids trying to work on four lifts. It was hard to get everybody time to work on the vehicle. This is going to help a lot. So everybody gets a better education through this,” he said.

Aaron Gander, machine instructor at the HCTC, said the added space will allow students to learn the important technology used on the job today.

“Right now we’re limited in the current space in terms of technology, because the new technology requires more space,” he said. “We don’t make parts without computers, and so all of that is integrated together.”

Gander said the added space will allow programs to keep up to speed as the fields evolve. It also will make Hannibal more competitive with colleges like State Tech in Linn, Mo., when it comes to keeping the workforce local. The Hannibal Innovation Campus will train the current workforce by offering adult programs.

Scott Haycraft is part-owner at Hannibal Machine, a local family business started in 1989 by his father, Harold Haycraft. He looks forward to the workforce development opportunity he sees in Prop Innovation. He now often turns to the Hannibal Career and Technical Center for employee recruitment in the areas of machine trades and welding, including job shadowing students before graduation. 

In some cases, students leave high school graduation already employed by Haycraft and other local companies.

“We’ve had great success in the past with employees,” he said. “One has been with us almost eight years since he was 16.”

Haycraft said the demand is high right now for skilled trades, and he said a current shortage for welders and machinists will continue to rise as Baby Boomers retire. He mentioned two major employers in those fields — Knapheide Manufacturing in Quincy, Ill., and Doyle Manufacturing in Palmyra.

“You will have a lot of employers looking to refill that gap,” Haycraft said. “I think this is will be a great thing for Hannibal.”

If Proposition Innovation passes, the estimated completion would be 2026.

(Read more about the Hannibal Public School’s ballot measure to borrow $30 million for the Hannibal Innovation Campus and other improvements: Measure on April ballot will pay for Hannibal Innovation Campus, upgrades to Porter Stadium.

Read more about the tax levy for Proposition Innovation: Hannibal Public School District’s ballot proposition related to separate tax levy for Innovation Campus, not $3.3 million deficit.)

Miss Clipping Out Stories to Save for Later?

Click the Purchase Story button below to order a print of this story. We will print it for you on matte photo paper to keep forever.

Current Weather


Trending Stories