Forrest County School District ahead of schedule on completion of safe rooms

By DAVID TISDALE,

Forrest County School District (FCSD) officials reported at the Jan. 13 FCSD Board of Directors meeting that work on safe rooms at its school campuses are ahead of schedule, with three of the facilities now operational.

FCSD Superintendent Brian Freeman and Mike Papas, auxiliary services director for the district, said the safe rooms - emergency shelters for students, faculty and staff - are ready for use at North Forrest High School, North Forrest Elementary and Earl Travillion Attendance Center.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing the bulk of the approximately $1 million in funding for the shelters – 90 percent – while the district is chipping in 10 percent in matching funds. Safe room construction at South Forrest Attendance Center and Rawls Springs Attendance Center is underway, while the facility at Dixie Elementary School was completed last spring.

At the start of the meeting, the board voted unanimously to re-elect its slate of directors, including Jason Helton, board president; Ronnie Perkins, vice-president; Sabrina Morse, board secretary; and Angie Myers, assistant board secretary. 

Angela Brown serves as the board’s legislative liaison, and Pat Zachary is board attorney.

“We’re blessed to have a great administrative team, teachers and staff throughout the district, who are dedicated to helping our students succeed,” said Helton, who begins his third term as leader of the board. “It’s a pleasure working with all of them.”