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Fayetteville working to get $5 million tornado shelter for high school

Fayetteville city officials are working to get federal funding for a new $5 million tornado shelter at Fayetteville High School.

Posted: Jan 22, 2020 5:48 AM
Updated: Jan 22, 2020 9:16 AM

Fayetteville city officials are working to get federal funding for a new $5 million tornado shelter at Fayetteville High School.

The shelter was already in the works when the National Weather Service confirmed a EF-0 tornado just 7 minutes from the school last month. If the city gets this grant, it will be the first in Tennessee to build a shelter with money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The shelter would hold around 1,000 people. When it's not being used as a storm shelter, it would be used as a gym and classrooms. School officials say it wouldn't only benefit students and teachers, but the more than 600 people who live near the school. It can also withstand winds up to 250 mph.

"You know, immense property damage and in fact, loss of life, you never want to see that, but knowing it is a possibility and having seen it as close as our neighbors in Brindlee Mountain, you always want to do everything you can to protect them," said Eric Jones with Fayetteville City Schools.

The school district says it should find out if it will receive the grant in September. If selected, Fayetteville City Schools would have to pay 25% of the total cost, which is $1.25 million.

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