SE Kansas district gets approval for safe room

FILE - This frame grab from video shows lightning inside a massive tornado on Sunday, May 22, 2011, outside Joplin, Mo. (AP Photo/tornadovideo.net)

CHEROKEE, Kan. (AP) – Officials with the Southeast School District in Crawford and Cherokee counties are celebrating word that the district will receive a federal grant for a safe room.

The district found out Wednesday that it will get a $285,049 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to build the storm-safe room at the Southeast Elementary School in Weir. The school district must provide another $95,016.

The Joplin Globe reports that the district, which serves several towns, has suffered severe damage from straight line winds twice in five years. It is in a high risk area for tornadoes.

District spokesman Chris Wilson says the proposed 1,886-square-foot structure will have 8-inch concrete walls and miles of steel rebar. It also will be used as the school’s music room.

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