WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton along with Congressman French Hill today announced a $1 million grant to build a community saferoom at the new Vilonia Intermediate School.
“Vilonia residents are unfortunately all too familiar with the destruction Mother Nature can cause. These funds will help provide residents a safe place to take cover should dangerous storms strike in the future. I was pleased to see the progress in rebuilding this school and I am confident this saferoom will give students, teachers and staff peace of mind knowing that this facility will help keep them safe,” Boozman said.
“As Vilonia continues to heal from last year’s deadly storms, residents can now feel a sense of security knowing there will be a safe place to seek shelter in the event of another outbreak. This is just one more example of the resilience and perseverance of the Vilonia community,” Cotton said.
“The people of Vilonia were shaken when the tornado hit last year, but their resolve to rebuild the community has never once wavered. This state-of-the-art safe room to help protect our students and teachers in the face of a natural disaster is another part of that rebuilding process, and I am pleased that it is moving forward,” Hill said.
This school was under construction when it was destroyed during the April 27, 2014 tornados. The saferoom will be available for students, faculty, staff, and area residents when extreme weather threatens. This saferoom will provide storm protection for up to 1,048 people and will be able to withstand wind speeds up to 250 mph.
The $1,049,438 grant is from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).