Earthquake and Multi-HazardResiliency Project
The Quillayute Valley School District recently was awarded a FEMA grant for $257,153 in order to complete a project that will provide the greater community of Forks an emergency shelter for community members at Forks High School. The district will be working with the Washington State Emergency Management Division. The original conception of the project began when school district officials began working on emergency planning with local partners for earthquakes and other natural disasters.
Quillayute Valley School District was the first school district in Washington to draft a Hazard Mitigation Plan, which was approved by the U.S Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 10 in July 2016. The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) was previously awarded grant funds through FEMA to collect and make available crucial information necessary for school districts in Washington to create Hazard Mitigation Plans. The approval of the district’s plan allowed officials to apply for the FEMA grant. The district along with Washington State Emergency Management Division will provide $42,858.50 matching dollars each for a total project cost of $342,870.
The project will include the purchase and installation of a 500kw diesel generator, electrical wiring and seismic updates for acoustical clouds and overhead piping so the Forks High School will be able to serve as an emergency shelter. Approximately 48,000 square feet of the high school building will be made available as a shelter equipped with a commercial kitchen, commons area, locker (shower) rooms, restrooms, multiple classrooms and a gymnasium.
“I would like to thank my staff, especially Bill Henderson, maintenance director, Sali Kilmer (former assistant to maintenance), and Jessi Wilson, assistant to maintenance, for making this project a reality. It will provide a service to the community should a natural disaster strike,” said Diana Reaume, QVSD superintendent.
The actual project will begin late spring and will be completed throughout next summer, with expected completion date on Aug. 1, 2018.