Webb City School District’s FEMA shelters on hold
Several Southwest Missouri School Districts that plan to build FEMA safe rooms can’t because of the government shutdown.
The Webb City School District is one school dealing with a possible construction delay.
While the threat of a deadly tornado has mostly passed for this year a new storm is brewing over federal funding for the installation of FEMA certified safe rooms.
With the government shutdown entering its third week school officials at Webb City are awaiting for approval to keeping children in their school district safe.
“Hopefully in the next two years every one of our facility’s will have a safe room type,” said Webb City’s Superintendent Dr. Anthony Rossetti.
The delay comes after the Webb City School District hired architects to design FEMA certified safe rooms for seven of its schools.
“We think this fits in right with our master plan of facilities,” said Rossetti.
The project will cost around 20 million dollars. However, some of those plans have been put on hold due to the partial government shutdown.
“I mean it’s not a positive thing for the nation so it’s definitely not a positive thing for us to get our projects done,” said Rossetti.
Currently those projects wait in Washington for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to approve the work.
“The government shutdown is definitely affecting these projects significantly simply because FEMA can’t review them,” said Paragon Architecture Representative Jessica Struckoff. Paragon Architecture designed most of the safe rooms for the district and tells us project deadlines could be pushed back.
“From an outside perspective say the government shutdowns for three weeks, however as we near the holiday season we don’t want to open bids during the holidays so what seems like a three week delay ends up being a five to six to a seven week delay,” said Struckoff.
“We applied for these just after the tornado and we’re still not in one yet. It is a long process,” said Rossetti.
The school district says each of the safe rooms will be open to the public when severe weather is a threat.