The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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August 2, 2013

Webb City school district receives funding for seventh safe room

WEBB CITY, Mo. — The Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded the Webb City School District an additional $1.3 million for a seventh - and originally unplanned - community safe room to be built at Carterville Elementary.

Last year, the district was awarded $7.2 million from FEMA for the construction of tornado safe rooms at the high school, between Harry S. and Bess Truman elementaries, between Madge T. James Kindergarten Center and Webster Elementary, at the junior high and at the middle school.

A shelter at Carterville will be a valuable addition, according to Superintendent Anthony Rossetti, because the community has no other public shelter available.

The 12,210-square-foot safe room, which will have a capacity of 1,391 occupants, will be added to the east end of Carterville Elementary School.

FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding pays for 75 percent of the cost of $1.7 million shelter, which will be built to withstand EF-5 tornadoes. The district will pick up the remaining 25 percent, or about $435,000.

"We're excited to have been given the green light to begin the process of this additional safe room project," Rossetti said.

The shelter will be designed as a multipurpose room, and likely will be in the design phase a few months, he said. An architect has not yet been selected for the Carterville project, but the district has selected an architect for the other six shelters.

Following the design phase, the district will submit the design to FEMA for a review of specifications, and once given the go-ahead can move the project to the bid phase.

FEMA also notified the district this week that the shelter at Madge T. James may now go to the bid phase.

The two projects yet to be approved is the shelter at the junior high, because it also will serve as a library and is a more complex design, and the shelter at Webster Elementary, because the location was changed, Rossetti said.

"We proposed it to be on the north side, but people would have had to cross a road to get there. With the city's assistance in closing Webb Street, we moved it to the west side of the building," he said.


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