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FEMA rules leave schools little choice except demo shelter

Steve

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FEMA rules will leave DeKalb County schools little choice except to demolish a new, $500,000 tornado shelter once a storm-damaged campus is repaired and students leave mobile classrooms, the county's top educator said.

That shelter, plus other school shelters that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is paying to install in other counties, is intended only for temporary use while students attend class in portable classrooms due to tornado damage. But once that purpose is served, a school system can keep the shelter or transfer it to the local community only by paying FEMA a fair-market price for it. But FEMA will pay the expense of tearing down the temporary shelter.

Marion County is building a shelter on the destroyed Hackleburg campus at a cost of more than $450,000. Hollingsworth said no decision has been made about what to do with the 600-person shelter after the campus is rebuilt, but he hopes it won't be destroyed.

"To tear it down when it could be used by the community -- something's not right about that," he said. "You just hope at that point, common sense will prevail."

Yasamie August, a spokeswoman for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, said FEMA's guidelines currently link the shelters to temporary school facilities and "when the (temporary) school goes away, these have to go away."
http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2011/09/alabama_schools_complain_they.html
 

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