The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

June 9, 2013

Neosho School Board works out details of FEMA plans

NEOSHO, Mo. — The Neosho Board of Education next month will vote on final plans for Federal Emergency Management Agency safe rooms at Neosho High School and South Elementary School, said Tim Crawley, the school district’s operations manager.

The board met last week to work out some final details with architects, including color schemes.

Crawley said plans for a safe room at Carver Elementary School probably won’t be ready until August, but that the project is less complicated than those at the other schools.

The most ambitious of the projects is at the high school. It will feature a two-story, 18-classroom addition at the front of the building. Crawley has said at a previous meeting that from street level, it would look like a completely new school.

A practice gymnasium with a stage would be added at South Elementary to double as a FEMA safe room.

Crawley said the safe room at Carver Elementary would be added to the northeast side of the building. He said it could serve as additional classroom space or a multipurpose room.

He said that without contingencies, the three projects have a local cost of $5.5 million. With all contingencies, the price tag climbs to more than $6 million.

“We’re fairly certain we would never get to that $6 million-plus mark,” Crawley said. “The financials are good.”

FEMA will pay the remainder of the cost of the projects.

Crawley has said the local portion of the projects’ cost can be paid from district funds over three budget years. The board also is planning to seek a bond issue next year that could reimburse the district for the projects.

Possible timeline

TIM CRAWLEY, Neosho School District operations manager, said FEMA could take one to three months to approve the plans. He said that if the district were to seek bids in December, construction could be complete by December 2014.

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