Rock Mechanics Laboratory — Former Missouri Trachoma Hospital

Rolla
Phelps County

This former hospital building was constructed in 1939 with funds allocated to the United States Public Health Service to combat Trachoma.  This disease which affects the eyes was the leading cause of blindness in the United States and was particularly prevalent in a belt running from Kentucky to eastern Oklahoma.  After closing as a hospital, the building was acquired by the Missouri University of Science and Technology (MS&T) and presently houses the University’s Rock Mechanics and Explosives Research Center (RMERC).  The center is used for teaching and researching the basic problems in rock mechanics, explosives science, and engineering.

The 2009 Campus Master Plan for MS&T calls for the former hospital building to be razed and replaced by a parking lot for campus recreational facilities. It is thought the general public is unaware of the demolition plans and has therefore not been able to comment, although it is widely reported  that demolition plans have been ramped up for 2011.

Listed in 2010, 2011 and as a watched property in 2012.

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