by Dustin Hodges, KY3 News
5:51 AM CST, December 18, 2012
HOLLISTER, Mo -- Hollister High School is building the first of two Federal Emergency Management Agency safe rooms. They will be the first two in Taney County
The original plan was just for a cafeteria and gymnasium but, after the tornado in Joplin in 2011, the district decided instead to apply for grants to build two FEMA safe rooms. That delayed construction on the building that the district was in the process of adding since 2009. Now the building will serve as both a gymnasium and cafeteria as well as a shelter.
The district will have one shelter for the elementary and early childhood development centers and another for the middle and high schools that will also serve as a community safe room after school hours.
"It's been a very long process, a little over three years, but we're blessed that we're going to have the first two FEMA shelters in Taney County. The middle school FEMA shelter will also serve the public in after-school hours, so there will be a whole education process for the people that live in the White River Apartments and in Ashley Square within a half mile about how that will be handled," said District Communications Director and grant writer Debbie Redford.
"These kids will be able to come here during a tornado warning and the shelter will be able to withstand an EF-5 tornado," said Assistant Superintendent Chris Ford.
Each safe room cost about $900,000 but the district got a $1.3 million FEMA grant for 75 percent of it.
The district hopes to have both FEMA safe rooms complete by the start of next school year.
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