Woodland R-IV School District breaks ground on FEMA Safe Room

MARBLE HILL, Mo. (KBSI) – Woodland R-IV school leaders, students and officials from DILLE POLLARD Architecture held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) safe room on September 27.

The $3.2 million project will be paid for with a mix of federal funds and local dollars. Seventy-five percent or $2.3 million was received from the federal government. Twenty-five percent of the funding is a local match, according to Dr. Adrian Eftink, superintendent of Woodland R-IV schools.

The 9,200 square foot FEMA safe room will be used as a gymnasium. It will seat 300-350.

The district applied for funding in 2016 and received official award documentation from State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) on April 29, 2021.

The safe room is designed per FEMA guidelines to shelter 1,125 people in the event of severe weather/tornadic event, according to DILLE POLLARD Architecture.

“I’m just appreciative of the agencies working with the school district to help us provide a safer environment for our students, both FEMA and SEMA,” said Dr. Adrian Eftink, superintendent for Woodland R-IV School District.

The General Contractor is Sides Construction from Jackson. DILLE POLLARD Architecture has worked with and completed several FEMA Safe Rooms with Sides Construction.

Construction has already begun. The concrete footings have been poured after reinforcement was set. Panels are set for delivery in November and will take about a week or two to erect. The wall panels are 12 feet thick and weigh approximately 40,000 pounds each. They are formed and poured in the manufacturing facility, loaded onto 18-wheeler trucks and brought to the site to be set in place on the footings by a crane, according to DILLE POLLARD Architecture.

Once the concrete “shell” of the FEMA structure is in place, the remainder of construction will follow.

This project has a 270 calendar day construction timeline. Completion is expected in the summer of 2023.

Sides Construction Co. Toth and Associates, Inc. and Strickland Engineering, LC, are involved in the project build as well.

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