Mountainburg School District officials are working on a construction plan for the district’s first saferoom.

Mountainburg School District was approved earlier this year for a Federal Emergency Management Agency matching grant to build the school district’s first safe room at the high school for use by the high school and middle school, said Superintendent Dennis Copeland.

“We’re in the process of developing a plan,” Copeland said.

School officials are now getting costs estimations from C.R. Crawford Construction, which has been hired by the district to build the saferoom, Copeland said.

MAHG Architecture has been hired to design the saferoom, he said.

Any changes to schematics will be discussed at the district’s Nov. 14 board meeting, Copeland said. Crawford is expected to provide a 50 percent estimate of construction costs, he said.

Soil testing already has been done at the site location, at the north end of the high school football field, Copeland said.

FEMA awarded the district a more than $1.3 million matching grant, with FEMA paying 75 percent - about $987,000 - and MSD paying the remaining $389,000.

“FEMA just provides the shell of the saferoom; we pay for anything extra,” Copeland said.

Money for the school district’s portion of the grant will come from extra funds for seven building projects completed last year under budget, Copeland said.

While construction on the saferoom is not yet set, school officials hope construction will begin soon after the first of the year and be completed by September 2017, Copeland said.

Mountainburg is the only school district in Crawford County without at least one saferoom on campus.

Van Buren School District has seven saferooms, Alma School District has four, and Cedarville and Mulberry-Pleasant View school districts each have one.

Copeland also gave the school district’s annual report to the public at the school board’s Oct. 17 meeting.

Included in the report was the district’s financial status, which remains in good standing; 2016 ACT scores, which were all above or close to state results; and its accreditation status, also in good standing.