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Government Shutdown Impacts Local School Construction Projects

The Webb City School District is expected to have seven storm shelters completed by next fall, but if the shutdown continues, that deadline will be in jeopardy.
WEBB CITY, MO.---- The government shutdown is having a big impact on local school construction projects. The Webb City R-7 School District is expected to have seven storm shelters completed by next fall, but if the shutdown continues, that deadline will be in jeopardy.    

"Until we get somebody in Washington to tell us that our FEMA structures are okay to proceed to bid, we're just waiting," said Dr. Anthony Rossetti, Webb City R-7 School District Superintendent.  

The $20 million project is expected to be completed by next fall, but only three buildings have been approved by FEMA to submit for bidding. Construction on the other four buildings cannot be started until the paperwork has been processed in Washington. 

"We'll be moving earth next month, probably. However, the other four, we're in limbo. I mean, we're waiting to hear from Washington when those plans are ready to go and we can take them to bid," said Dr. Rossetti.

Superintendent Dr. Rossetti says he is confident the project will be completed, however the grants do have a deadline.
 
"If it continues, there is a time limit on these grants. So, I would hope that we would get some credit to extend the period of time that we'd have to build those structures," said Rossetti. 

An architect for several of the projects says it takes 6-8 weeks to complete the bidding process after they receive FEMA's approval of the designs. At this rate, the builders may not break ground until next year for the remaining four shelters. There are other school districts, like Avilla and Joplin, who are experiencing a similar waiting game due to the shutdown.

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