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Old 11-22-2009, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Deep Dirty South
5,190 posts, read 5,333,502 times
Reputation: 3863

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Hello, All.

Let me first say that I DID do a search of the forum for threads on Rolla but I decided to start a new one anyway.

I am seriously considering applying for a job in Rolla and I'd like to hear about the town as far as cost of living, schools, etc.

I'm currently living in upstate New York in a very small, rural town. But believe me--I'm no Yankee! We've had terrible luck since we moved up here and we are trying to get back to our part of the country.

My wife and I are both from Texas but spent most of our lives in Oklahoma, a little bit in Arkansas, etc. even though we've moved around a lot.

Our parents are all getting up there and we just miss that part of the country. Hoping to head back that way.

I can tell from reading the forum that Missourians are proud of their state (and should be!) and it seems like the threads on Rolla have a lot of friendly people with a good sense of humor.

We would be looking to rent initially. Actually, we've never owned a home before. It's me, my wife and our two daughters who are 10 and 11 years old. I'd like to hear about the school system and about the availability of rentals.

An apartment would be fine, but a smallish 3-bedroom house would be best. Also, we have a dog. Is Rolla pretty dog-friendly? Are there rentals in supply that allow pets?

Just to be clear: we are not politically radical in any way, nor are we elitists who expect and want a bunch of fancy spas or Starbucks coffee or highbrow shopping. We like friendly people and family atmosphere.

Our only "wild" streak is that we love old hot rods (looking at them anyway; we don't own one or anything) and rock and roll. I am a musician and while I also love old acoustic music and bluegrass and such, I really hope there might be some musicians to jam with who are into good old rock and roll music (my favorite stuff is from the 50s and 60s but I'm adaptable.)

Anyway, we aren't looking for a crazy nightlife scene, but I am interested to know about local restaurants and such. Where we live now there is nothing but McDonald's, Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts, Subway and a couple of pizza joints.

We aren't into "fine dining" but it would be nice if there were some other options like some decent Mexican or Asian food.

I really appreciate any thoughts or information. Please wish me luck on the job. I am applying for it tomorrow and I think I would be a good match for it.

Take care, everyone. Hope to hear from some of you. We really need to get back down that way where it feels more like "home" and we can finally settle down.
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:47 PM
 
Location: The City of St. Louis
938 posts, read 3,505,582 times
Reputation: 789
1. Dog Friendliness: Many people in Rolla have dogs. I wouldn't say it is as "dog friendly" as other places I've lived (meaning you can't bring your dog into a restaurant), but there are several parks and walking trails to take your dog to.

2. Renting: Rolla has lots of rental homes, courtesy of the large student population at Missouri S & T. You should be able to find a 3-bedroom house for $1000 a month or less, if not significantly less for a place that isn't' that new or overly nice. Send me a direct message and I'll give you the name of my old landlord, who was excellent, and has many rental properties. Investment Realty is the largest landlord in town (sometimes called "slumlords" half-jokingly by the college students), and I've heard a lot of not-so-great things about them.

3. Food: Rolla has many great places to eat for a town of its size. You will find both good Mexican and Asian food. Los Cazadores is one of my favorite Mexican resturants anywhere (despite having lived in Texas) and is also very cheap and fast. There are a couple places to get sushi (Kyoto being the most established) and several take out Chinese joints. Missouri Chinese food is not authentic, at all, but still delicious and a good regional take on an international food. Alex's Pizza also serves excellent pies.

4. Hot Rods: Missouri in general is full of people who appreciate classic vehicle and hot rods and Rolla is no exception. There are impromptu car shows at the JC Penny's parking lot on the south side of town throughout the summer, and you'll see plenty of hot rods, Harleys, and jacked-up 4x4's cruising around on nice days throughout the year.

5. Music: I can't comment on the scene myself, but I think the resident Rolla poster ozarksboy may be able to help.

Rolla is a nice smaller town with a lot to offer and I really think you'd enjoy it.
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Rolla, Phelps County, Ozarks, Missouri
1,069 posts, read 2,561,907 times
Reputation: 1287
Rolla is a great little city. I've been here since 1984 and I plan on never leaving it until they carry me out horizontally.

Here are my top 10 reasons for loving this place (not necessarily in order of importance):

1. Lots of bluegrass: I think there's 9 hours of it on two radio stations, mostly on the weekend, plus three or four jam sessions.
2. Missouri University of Science and Technology: It gives us great jobs in the community and its performing arts series bring high quality entertainment to town. I also love the public radio station.
3. Phelps County Regional Medical Center: Its presence means we don't have to drive to the city for most of our medical needs.
4. Rolla Public Schools: Three elementary schools, one middle school, one junior high school, one high school, all combine to prepare your child for college or vocational school (also offered here).
5. Rolla Public Library: A real gem. I've been a card-carrying patron since 1984 and was an employee for a couple of years, 2005-2007.
6. No mall or Starbucks: I find this a plus; others find it a negative.
7. Located in the middle of nowhere: Jeff City is 63 miles to the north, Springfield is 100 miles to the west, St. Louis 100 to the east, and there are no cities of any size in Missouri to the South.
8. Active churches that have ministry programs to reach out to community needs, such as food distribution and clothes closets.
9. A plethora of civic organizations that work on community projects, often hand-in-hand with the churches.
10. The outdoors: lots of hunting, fishing, gigging, floating, trapping, hiking, camping and photography, just minutes outside Rolla.

You can google those topics and institutions, but the best place to start is Rollanet.

You shouldn't have difficulty finding a place to live. Best place to start is Investment Realty, which you can also google.

There's a hot rod club that has monthly cruise-ins during the summer as well as a big show during the Route 66 Summerfest.

I don't know of any public jam sessions for rockers, but I'm sure I could find some folks for you to jam with.

We don't have fancy dining. Got a couple of really good locally owned steakhouses, some smorgasbord/buffet restaurants, several oriental restaurants (two have sushi bars), a couple of really good Mexican places and one that's not so hot.

Apparently there's not much nightlife. I work from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., and get up at 4 a.m., so I have to sleep at night rather than live it up.

other things I like: Our annual Phelps County Fair, the Lions Club Fourth of July Carnival, the Chamber's Christmas Parade, the St Pat's Parade in March. There's lots of fun stuff in Pulaski County, too, such as Dixon Cow Days, Waynesville Frogfest.

If you have other questions, feel free to ask either on the forum or by direct message. You can also contact me through my blog or my facebook page, which you can find by looking on my profile above.

Warning: Most newcomers I've run across have been thrilled to be here at first, but after several months or even weeks, Rolla has worn them down because it is in the middle of nowhere, there's no shopping mall, no Starbucks and no nightlife. They get bored because they can't imagine anything to do.

I might add that the utilities are quite high, at least in my opinion. I had been paying $130 per month to Rolla Municipal Utilities for electric, water and trash, but my wife opened the bill Friday to find that our level payment plan had jumped to $220 effective tomorrow. I'm going to have to look for a part-time job, so if you get in a position to hire, think of me. Good luck in whatever you're looking for.
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:43 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,593 posts, read 37,466,118 times
Reputation: 29337
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozarksboy View Post
Warning: Most newcomers I've run across have been thrilled to be here at first, but after several months or even weeks, Rolla has worn them down because it is in the middle of nowhere, there's no shopping mall, no Starbucks.
Having been to Rolla I have to say that there's really no there, there, but it's a comfortable place with friendly people and seems a peaceful place to live with just enough zest and culture to keep one going. You could certainly do worse!
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:48 AM
 
Location: RoMo
140 posts, read 273,803 times
Reputation: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozarksboy View Post
...We don't have fancy dining. Got a couple of really good locally owned steakhouses, some smorgasbord/buffet restaurants, several oriental restaurants (two have sushi bars), a couple of really good Mexican places and one that's not so hot...
For "fine dining" there is Sybil's, just up I-44 in neighboring St. James. Granted, it may not compare with something you'd find in NYC, but the atmosphere is really nice and the food has always been good when I've been there.

Here's another vote for Los Cazadores and Alex's! And if you need a really good pie for dessert, go to A Slice of Pie! (I need a drooling smilie here!)

I also have two daughters, ages 17 and 13. Overall, I've been happy with their education. One thing that I really like is that the high school offers a number of AP or dual credit classes. Our 17-year-old had an AP class last year and has another one this year, as well as two dual credit classes. She'll be able to start college with several credit hours worth of classes already under her belt. The school system also has a wonderful volunteer program! I've been volunteering in my daughters' schools since my younger one started Kindergarten, and I love it! It has allowed me to get to know their teachers better, as well as their classmates.

I don't think I can add much else to what has already been said...I think it's been covered pretty well!
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Deep Dirty South
5,190 posts, read 5,333,502 times
Reputation: 3863
Quote:
Originally Posted by BethP View Post
For "fine dining" there is Sybil's, just up I-44 in neighboring St. James. Granted, it may not compare with something you'd find in NYC, but the atmosphere is really nice and the food has always been good when I've been there.
This is all we hope for. I'd like to stress again that my family and I are NOT the kind of people who would relocate to Rolla and bemoan the fact that it's not as "hip and happening" as NYC or LA or any other big metro. We specifically want a nice, smallish community with friendly people and family activities and lots of natural beauty nearby for being outdoors.

We are from Texas originally and spent most of our lives in Oklahoma. It is the Southern/Midwestern atmosphere that we miss.

Rolla sounds perfect. I really appreciate all the comments and information and would like to hear more if anyone else has anything to add.

Looking at threads about Rolla here, the people seem so friendly and good-humored. It seems charming-- an ideal place to call "home."

(and Beth--thank you for the school info as well. Very good to hear!)

Now, please wish us luck. I just sent in my application materials for the job I spoke of and hope to hear something within the next couple of weeks.

Take care, all, and have a great day.
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Old 12-08-2009, 07:33 PM
 
11 posts, read 56,059 times
Reputation: 15
Actually I recommend you not go with Investment Realty whether it's for rent or to own. They have a really bad rep with the students. Check out Brown instead.

Los Casadorez is a fabulous Mexican restaurant. Missouri S&T is a fantastic university. If you live in town the tuition really isn't that bad. I can't say much regarding your job prospects. Most people in really Rolla don't make that much but live comfortably. The exception is if you're educated... But the same work in Rolla pays a lot less than in say St. Louis.

I think Rolla is a great place to raise a family and enjoy the outdoors. I'm more of an indoors kind of guy and I have trouble being here for more then 2 weekends in a row. I usually make the trip to STL once or twice a month just to go back home and catch up with friends.
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Old 12-09-2009, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,535 posts, read 30,252,946 times
Reputation: 6426
I've only been on the edge of Rolla where I stopped to gas up. I had great fun a little general store ont he edge of town. What I have seen of Rolla is very pleasant. I can't think of any reason I owuld not live there if I had a job. I stopped at St. James winery a couple times on my many cross-state trips and enjoyed it. It is interesting plus they normally have a goor house red that I would take home from time to time. I think the entire area from Hermann on MO 19 to Rolla is interesting plus there are many fun festivals during the year. .
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Old 12-09-2009, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Rolla, Phelps County, Ozarks, Missouri
1,069 posts, read 2,561,907 times
Reputation: 1287
KMST, the public radio station in Rolla, has a line-up of Christmas specials planned. Here's the link. (http://www.kmst.org/christmas2009.html - broken link)

No matter where you are in the world, you can listen to KMST on your computer by clicking the Listen Live button on the home page.

Be sure to listen to the bluegrass programs on Sunday from 7-9 a.m., Saturday from 7-10 p.m. and Thursday nights from 7-8.
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Old 02-21-2010, 10:26 PM
 
1,250 posts, read 2,516,443 times
Reputation: 283
I do remember in terms of food, you will find a lot more Asian food than one would expect in a similar sized community mainly due to the University. Acutally if I remember Rolla is among the few communities in the state where Asians are the largest minority group.

As for the no mall or Starbucks, I have heard recently that the answer might go from no to not yet.
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