By Chris Kieffer
SHANNON – Residents of Shannon may soon have a new community storm shelter.
The Lee County School District is a finalist for a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that would allow it to build a storm shelter at Shannon Primary School for a significantly reduced price.
FEMA would pay for 90 percent of the construction and the district would fund the rest. The exact cost is not yet known.
The school would be able to use the 5,000-square-foot shelter, and it would be open to the community when there is severe weather.
Lee County applied for the grant for three schools – including Saltillo High and Saltillo Elementary – based on criteria applicants had to meet. Shannon Primary was chosen as a Tier 2 recipient, meaning it would receive the grant if money was left after the Tier 1 grantees were funded. Charles Laney of JBHM Architects, who addressed the Lee County School Board on Tuesday, said that is likely to happen.
The process will be gradual, Laney said, noting it would be about a year-and-half from the time the district is approved until construction could begin.
The shelter would withstand winds of 250 miles an hour.