Strahan, MEMA meet with PRC school board

Published 5:30 pm Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Emergency preparedness director Bobby Strahan and representatives from MEMA met with the school board for the Pearl River County School District at its meeting on Monday night about using grant funds to create an emergency shelter in the proposed new school building.

“This is something that we are seriously looking at and believe this will help you tremendously when you build,” Strahan said. “But, first, before we get into that, we have received a grant that will pay for emergency sirens to be placed at each school at no charge to you.”

The sirens will help alert residents to emergencies.

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Sage McReynolds of MEMA described the grant application process concerning using the new school as an emergency shelter.

“There is a pre-application that consists of four questions which is due Friday. We already have the cost estimates. The shelters will need to withstand 200 mile per hour winds, will need shutters, and a generator housed outside the building. The grant will cover these costs 100 percent, and possibly some utilities and other costs,” the MEMA representative said.

The grant money would help pay for the added amenities required for emergency purposes.

“We’ll know by September whether or not the bond issue passes,” Superintendent Dennis Penton said. “This application would be for either the new school or for Pearl River Central. Mr. Strahan wants to remedy the lack of an emergency shelter here in Pearl River County, since we didn’t have one two years ago.”

The board approved pursuing the application for the grant.

Penton said attendance at all PRC schools was 2,798 with an additional 248 kindergarten students on top of that figure. The portable classrooms will arrive on Monday, he said.

Other business included approval for Mississippi Power to put a meter on the high school football field lights so that any organizations who use the field lights will see the justification of the $100 fee that will be charged for those Saturdays that the usage goes into the evening hours.