Gainesville School District to get over $2M from state to build safe room

The Gainesville School District will receive over $2 million to build a tornado safe room attached to the middle school building capable of protecting 930 students, staff and area residents. The safe room will also serve as a multi-purpose space at the school.

The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency announced the grant funding this week to build tornado safe rooms at six school districts in Missouri. The grants will cover 90% of the cost.

Gainesville Schools Superintendent Justin Gilmore says the district is very fortunate to get a building like this at such a savings to the district.

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Gilmore says in addition to the 10% of the cost the district has to cover, they are estimating spending another roughly $200,000 on the project.

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The Gainesville superintendent says the new building will have several uses.

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Gilmore says occupancy of the new building is still roughly two years away.

Community safe rooms are specially designed and engineered structures, built to withstand 250 mile-per-hour winds, often utilizing 14-inch precast concrete and steel-reinforced doors. Walls and roof sections are capable of withstanding impacts from windborne debris.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency also approved grants for two planning projects which will fund the update of hazard mitigation plans for 23 counties and Missouri Rural Electric Cooperatives. The counties covered by the planning activity include Ozark and Douglas.

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