The board approved a 50-year contract to allow property at the old Cordova High School to be used for the $75,000 project. The agreement was necessary for city leaders to continue with a grant application for the shelter.
If the city is approved for it, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide 75 percent of the funds while the City of Cordova and the state of Alabama will split the remaining 25 percent of the costs.
The grant will also help pay for another shelter, which city leaders plan to place at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
Superintendent Jason Adkins said the shelter planned for Cordova will be similar to one used by the Hackleburg community. He said that shelter kept 120 people safe while a tornado crashed through the Marion County town.
“Anything we can do to improve the safety of students then we definitely need to do whatever we can to make that happen,” Adkins said.
Cordova Mayor Jack Scott said he is pleased with the board’s cooperation, and the city looks to be on track for the grant.
“We’re excited about it,” he said. “We feel like we have our ducks in a row.”
Both Scott and Adkins commended E-911 Director Roger Wilson for helping communities like Cordova apply for the grant.
Adkins said leaders from communities like Sipsey and Union Chapel also plan similar storm shelters.
Scott said city leaders hope to one day have six shelters scattered throughout the community.
The Board of Education discussed the lease during a meeting on Aug. 25. During the meeting, Adkins suggested the board vote on the lease immediately. However, Walker County School System attorney Donald Sweeney recommended they postpone the vote until the next meeting to comply with guidelines set by the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.