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FEMA Adds $25.22 Million in Mississippi Public Assistance for Coast School Repairs

From: FEMA        Filed 6/29/06  GCN

Education is the major beneficiary of an additional $25.22 million in Public Assistance grants for Mississippi recently awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Public Assistance reimbursement from FEMA for the state’s Hurricane Katrina recovery now totals $1.37 billion. 

Ten of the 11 newly funded grants, worth $23.99 million, will repair or replace south Mississippi schools damaged by the winds, rain and tidal surge of Hurricane Katrina.

  • The largest single grant, for $4.75 million, will be used to restore Gorenflo Elementary School in the Biloxi School District. The school was inundated with six feet of storm surge, which left mud and wet debris as the water receded. Flooring, drywall, the cooling system and other building elements were heavily damaged.
     
  • A $4.55 million grant will be used to restore the heavily damaged Nichols Elementary School in the Biloxi School District. The entire first floor was inundated by the tidal surge. Floor tile, ceilings, doors and all drywall up to 12 feet high must be replaced, along with electrical and mechanical components
     
  • Three projects worth a combined $4.67 million will go toward rebuilding D’Iberville Middle School on higher ground. The school’s damaged buildings will be demolished, and cannot be rebuilt on the same site because of current flood elevation and zoning requirements. The grants include $1.77 million for Building C (classrooms); $1.66 million for Building D (classrooms); and $1.24 million for the gymnasium.
     
  • A $4.47 million grant was awarded to the Bay St. Louis Waveland School District to restore the severely damaged North Bay Elementary School, Waveland Elementary School, Bay Middle School and Bay High School. They all were flooded with three to eight feet of water. The project will pay to remove the contents and debris, clean and dry out the buildings; and then repair or replace flooring, ceilings and mechanical systems as required.
     
  • In a separate project, $1.12 million in additional funding was approved for the demolition and replacement of the severely damaged Elementary Center Building on the Waveland Elementary School campus. This brings total funding for the structure to $2.79 million.  
     
  • A $1.55 million grant was awarded to restore Pass Christian High School. The school was flooded with 15 feet of water that left debris and a sludge film throughout the first floor. The Pass Christian School district removed debris, then cleaned and disinfected the entire first floor immediately after the storm.
     
  • A $1.52 million grant will help restore Magnolia Junior High School in the Moss Point School District.  The school was inundated with an average 38 inches of storm surge that left debris and sediment behind, and damaged floors, walls and other components. The building remains structurally sound.
     
  • A $1.35 million grant was approved to restore Pascagoula Central Elementary School. Storm surge waters destroyed or damaged flooring, ceilings, doors, windows, air conditioning systems and other building components. 
     
  • A $1.24 million grant was awarded to the City of Biloxi to rebuild the city-owned Marina Point lounge.  The facility, situated over the waters of Mississippi Sound, was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

The grants are part of FEMA’s Public Assistance program, which provides financial assistance to state and local governments and certain non-profit organizations for disaster-related clean-up and rebuilding efforts. The grants help rebuild or restore buildings and infrastructure to pre-disaster condition. While these grants are aimed at governments and organizations, their final goal is to help a community and all its citizens recover from devastating natural disasters. The funds are administered by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

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