MARION — A southern Illinois school district will use a $1.2 million federal grant to pay for part of the cost of building a weather shelter in an elementary school.
The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports the planned, above-ground "safe room" at Marion's Lincoln Elementary School will accommodate 600 people.
The grant announced Tuesday is from the Federal Emergency and Management Agency's hazard mitigation program. The district will pay for the $418,000 balance of the project that could be completed by the fall of 2015.
Marion schools Superintendent Keith Oates calls the money "great news" and says it's the culmination of years of work to secure the cash.
The school district already has a similar room at the Adams grade school near Creal Springs, with that space doubling as a cafeteria.