Grant to fund school’s safe room
Eudora elementary school students and teachers should be a little safer, thanks to a $566,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help construct a tornado safe room at their new school.
The safe room also will serve as a cafeteria and commons room and will open when the new school does next fall.
“This will be the only FEMA-approved safe room shelter in northeast Kansas that meets current FEMA standards,” said Eudora Superintendent Don Grosdidier. “It’s very exciting that we’re able to provide that kind of safety net for our kids and staff.”
The safe room will be windowless with steel reinforced doors and built out of reinforced concrete blocks. The shelter will be large enough to accommodate every student and staff member during the school day, which will be about 800 first- through fifth-graders when the school opens.
The grant was secured through a joint venture by the school district, Douglas County Emergency Management, the city of Eudora, Kansas Emergency Management and FEMA. Grosdidier says FEMA will pay 75 percent of the project, Kansas Emergency Management will pick up 10 percent, and the school district will pay the final 15 percent from its bond project budget.
“It works out to be a very nice deal that 85 percent of the project is funded from grant money,” Grosdidier said.
Teri Smith, the director of Douglas County Emergency Management, said she’s happy her agency can participate in a project that focuses on preparedness, rather than recovery.
“You have to look at the amount of lives that can possibly be saved and the impact that the tornado will be lessened in Eudora,” she said.