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Board receives FEMA, projects updates

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds will not be available to assist Creston Community School District with two potential projects like CCSD Business Manager Billie Jo Greene had hoped.

Greene updated the CCSD Board of Directors on the situation during Monday’s regularly scheduled board meeting.

Greene had hoped to secure FEMA funding for a two-part project. The goal was to secure FEMA funds to remove the Burton R. Jones complex (the section of the complex that runs east to west and includes the gymnasium) and then to construct a safe room or safe gym on the north end of the Early Childhood Center currently occupied by the playground and green space.

“FEMA has money for mitigation to remove things that are in a flood plane,” Greene said.

The district had a survey done on the area and learned that, even though the Burton R. Jones gym has flooded several times, it actually sits 1 foot above the flood plain.

“That takes that out of the equation to get the funds to get that building removed,” Greene said. “When I talked to FEMA again on [the safe room project], there are no funds available at this time.”

Greene reported to the board that the representative from FEMA she spoke with informed her there are no funds available for safe rooms at this time, and if and when funds do become available, there are about 30 other FEMA safe room projects ahead of CCSD.

CCSD Superintendent Steve McDermott followed Greene’s report with an update on the major construction project plan approved by the board during the Jan. 8 special meeting.

“The potential project Billie Jo mentioned leads us to the thinking here – the ECC playground project, the Hurley Creek storm sewer repair project and the ECC bus pick-up and drop-off drive, all three of those have to coordinate,” McDermott said. “You can’t do each one in a vacuum. Regardless of the order they show up in that initial plan, we know those three for certain have to coordinate.”

McDermott said he has contacted a couple of civil engineers and two architectural firms that have interest in potentially working with the district to create specs for the district’s various projects.

McDermott’s goal is to have all of the year one projects – visitor’s side stadium bleachers, field turf at the stadium, additional parking at the elementary/middle school and the ECC playground – completed before school starts in the fall.

“I think we have a nice plan put together so far,” McDermott said. “We’ll really put some focus on these projects and do our best to get those things completed before school starts. That’s the goal. Construction is obviously very dependent on the weather and some other factors, but that’s the target, anyway.”

Each individual project will be subject to board approval before it is started.

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