Earl Bell Community Center will soon be renovated

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Earl Bell Community Center is on its way to becoming a new shelter. The motive was to build a safe place for the community in case of a disaster.

"We're just trying to be prepared for the future," said Parks and Recreation Director Wixson Huffstetler. "As the city grows we want to be able to provide places and shelters for people."

However, Earl Bell isn't the only community center getting an upgrade.

"This is for all of our community centers and the Senior Citizen Center," said Huffstetler. "The grant was right around three hundred thousand dollars."

The projects are funded by a grant given through the Federal Government that was made specifically for disaster relief and preparedness.

"We're turning the centers into disaster recovery centers in case of hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, fires, anything like that," said Huffstetler.

One of the new features is a brand new bathroom, giving it an upgrade to better accommodate in case it's used for shelter purposes.

"We're renovating the bathrooms making them a little bit bigger, putting showers in so people can shower," said Huffstetler.

One new addition given to all of the community centers will come in handy if the electricity goes out.

"We test on a weekly basis all the generators to make sure they are up and running," said Huffstetler.

Just next door, The Senior Citizen Center had its own renovation done to help add to the shelter.

"We went in a renovated the kitchen to commercial grade so we can feed people at that center," said Huffstetler.

As soon as construction is set to begin, the project should be done by the end of summer.

"Between 90 and 100 days we should be finished," said Huffstetler.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.