$1.5M Safe Room Proposed for Maumelle

MAUMELLE, AR - The devastating tornado on April 27 passed just north of Maumelle. There was no damage to the city but there were many people there affected one way or another. And now, some believe it's time to act.

"My wife and daughter were home that night when the tornado came through," says Rob McGill, who lives in the River Plantation neighborhood in Mayflower. "We were in our safe room and glad we had it."

McGill's home was one of dozens destroyed in the storm.

"If we hadn't had the safe room, could've been a whole lot more dangerous and we could've been injured," he says. 

McGill is the Executive Director of the Academic Plus Charter School in Maumelle.

Monday night, McGill spoke in front of the Maumelle City Council to lay out a proposal.

"We want to be proactive in providing the community aservice and also the school the service to keep the students safe," he told the panel.

McGill says federal grants would pay for 75 percent of his plan to build a 5,000 square foot safe room as part of a project to grow the school. The room could hold at least 1,000 people at a cost of $1.5 million.

Under the plan, the remaining 25 percent would be split between a foundation that supports the school and the city of Maumelle, with each paying a little more than $180,000.

"Definitely the storms made me think about it and others think about it and it's something that's the right thing to do for Maumelle," McGill says.

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