Spencer waits for FEMA grant word

The Spencer community will have to wait a while longer to find out if the federal government will help it pay for the concrete dome gymnasium/storm shelter that voters approved in an April 2 referendum.
Spencer School District Administrator Mike Endreas said this week that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has pushed back the announcement of successful Disaster Pre-Mitigation grants to the end of this month. The district had been told prior to the referendum that word of the grant awards would be released in the first few days of May, but is now saying that a computer “glitch” in the application submission process has caused that date to be postponed until sometime near the end of the month. An exact date has not been given, Endreas said.
The district is awaiting word on whether or not it will receive as much as $2.5 million to help cover the cost of the construction of a monolithic concrete dome on the east side of the high school. While the district will use the structure to house a new full-size gymnasium, fitness center, and wrestling area, it will also double as a community shelter in the event of a tornado. The project is at least eligible for grant consideration because the village of Spencer has no official storm shelter. The village is a co-applicant with the school district.

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