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School Board to seek FEMA grant
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A Federal Emergency Management Agency grant may be used to build eight safe rooms at DeKalb West School.A proposed lunchroom addition will most likely will not qualify for grant money, as the population around the school is not dense enough.Alan Troy, an architect for Kaatz, Binkley, Jones & Morris Architects of Mount Juliet told the board of education Thursday night that "DeKalb West is eligible for the FEMA Hazard grant.”“There were a couple of requirements for that which are being taken care of,” Troy elaborated. “It is eligible for the grant, but one of the requirements is that there needs to be a FEMA approved Hazard Mitigation Plan which you do not have. “I understand that someone with the Tennessee Emergency Management Association and those representatives have set up a meeting with the county to get that plan and to get it approved,” said Troy.FEMA offers millions of dollars in grants under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program for the building of safe rooms to be used in the event of an emergency.The new rooms at DeKalb West would also help with overcrowded conditions at the facility.The school system may apply for up to $3 million in grant money for this project, with the federal government paying 75 percent of the cost.The state would pay 12.5 percent, leaving the school system to pay the remaining 12.5 percent of the cost.Board members hoped to obtain grants for construction of a new kitchen/cafeteria area at the school, but sparse population in the area excludes the project from qualifying.“The plan was initially to include the kitchen and cafeteria work but it’s based on the area that this will serve,” Troy told the board.