Gainesville School Board shares tentative plans for FEMA building
At a special open school board meeting Thursday night, the Gainesville R-V School District discussed its tentative plans for a 7,800-square-foot FEMA shelter to be built on the high school campus if its grant application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency is accepted.
Superintendent Jeffrey Hyatt told the Times Monday that preliminary plans for the building have it creating a new front entrance for the high school and providing space for offices, a media center, two or three classrooms and a spacious center hallway.
Hyatt said there’s no set schedule for when accepted FEMA grant applications will be announced. “It could be one month or six or nine months,” he said, adding that he feels optimistic because FEMA accepted the school’s initial request to apply for the grant so quickly.
The estimated cost for the building is “somewhere around $1.7 million to $2 million,” Hyatt said. He says the district would probably provide $600,000 to $800,000 of that amount out of existing funds, Hyatt said.
At the board’s March 26 meeting, it will discuss whether to ask voters to approve a tax levy issue in August or November that would allow the school to proceed with what Hyatt called “Phase 2” of the district’s renovation and expansion plans. Those plans include a new high school commons area and possibly a new high school gym, plus renovations and a storm shelter at the elementary school. The elementary shelter would not be a FEMA-involved building but would be built to some of the FEMA specifications. Cafeterias and kitchens at both the elementary and high schools would also be enlarged and updated if the Phase 2 plan is approved and voters agree to a tax levy increase, Hyatt said.
The March 26 meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the high school library.