The Cassville School District has received approval for a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant that will provide funding to construct a storm shelter on the R-4 campus.
Superintendent Richard Asbill said district officials will travel to Jefferson City on Feb. 10 to sign grant documents, and the R-4 School Board will receive more information on the funding during its meeting on Feb. 16.
"We are very excited," said Asbill. "This is a great opportunity. It will assist the district in providing a safer place for the children and add a wonderful community resource to assist in times when inclement weather impacts Cassville."
Asbill said the 8,000-square-foot facility will offer its own back-up power supply, heating and cooling system and restrooms. The shelter, which will cost approximately $1.5 million to construct, will be opened to students, parents and the community during times of need.
"While we have not received final approval and don't know the actual amount of the grant, we anticipate that 70 to 75 percent of the construction costs will be covered by the grant," said Asbill.
Funding for the remainder of the construction costs and costs associated with finishing the building will be covered by the district's capital improvement budget.
The Cassville School District applied for grant funding in 2010 prior to when the tornado impacted Joplin in May of 2011.
The district's old middle school field house will be demolished to make space for the new storm shelter, which will also serve as a multipurpose facility.
Asbill has estimated that it will take over a year to construct the storm shelter after the district receives final grant approval.