Ark school board begins process to build safe room

VILONIA, Ark. (AP) - School board officials have instructed an architect to begin drawing preliminary plans for a 6,500 square-foot safe room at the high school in Vilonia, the site of a deadly tornado in April. The Log Cabin Democrat ( ) reported in

Tuesday's editions that architect Steve Elliott told Vilonia school board members the room will be a concrete shell that can accommodate 1,200 to 1,300 students and withstand a tornado with winds of 200 mph or greater.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded a $1 million grant to build a safe room at Vilonia High School. A tornado ripped through the central Arkansas town April 25, killing five people and destroying numerous buildings. Officials anticipate the room will cost about $1.3 million.

Elliott estimated the project could be completed by December 2012.

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