Board considering lease for Cordova storm shelter
by Daniel Gaddy
Aug 26, 2011 | 3325 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Walker County Board of Education on Thursday discussed leasing land for a community storm shelter for the City of Cordova.

Officials with the City of Cordova are applying for funding to create two storm shelters in the city, and Superintendent Jason Adkins said a 50-year lease for the property is necessary for city leaders to continue the application process.

Adkins said the land considered for the shelter is on the property of the old Cordova High School.

“It’s in a place where nothing else really can be used, and I wouldn’t want to delay (the application process),” he said.

Adkins suggested the board vote on the lease immediately. However, Walker County School System attorney Donald Sweeney recommended the board postpone the vote until its next meeting in order to comply with guidelines set by the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.

Adkins said the $75,000 shelter planned for Cordova will be similar to one used by the Hackleburg community. The Hackleburg shelter withstood an EF-5 tornado on April 27 while holding 120 people.

Cordova’s city leaders hope to be approved for a grant that will have the Federal Emergency Management Agency providing 75 percent of the funds for the shelter, with the state and the City of Cordova each paying 12.5 percent.

Cordova officials plan to build the second storm shelter at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

The board also voted to purchase an Internet program that allows principals to access student grades, attendance records and class schedules online.

Adkins said that, though many teachers criticize the effectiveness of the software (called I-Now), it will help principals focus on more face-to-face interactions with teachers and children.

The Walker County Board of Education will meet for its first public budget hearing at 7 a.m. on Sept. 6 in the Carl Elliott Building in Jasper.

The second public budget hearing will be at the board’s regularly scheduled meeting at 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 8 at the Carl Elliott Building.