HOUSTON (AP) - A federal agency will give $20.8 million to West,Tx to help rebuild two schools destroyed in last year's deadly fertilizer plant explosion.
West Mayor Tommy Muska said Monday the Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to provide the West Independent School District with the money it needs to rebuild a high school and an intermediate school.
Muska says it will cost about $60 million to rebuild the two facilities. He says the school district's insurance company will pay for $45 million and the FEMA money will pay for the rest.
The schools were destroyed when the chemical fertilizer ammonium nitrate blew up during a fire in April at the West Fertilizer Co. Fifteen people were killed, and dozens of homes and buildings were destroyed.
Following the announcement of the grants, Congressman Bill Flores (R-Texas) released the following statement:
“I applaud FEMA for awarding the much needed funds to help the West schools rebuild after being severely damaged by the plant explosion. These grants could not come at a better time as West ISD is hoping to start construction of new school facilities in the near future. With the help of these grants, the students will soon be able to leave their current environment in temporary facilities for permanent classrooms and facilities.
“As the rebuilding process continues, the community and McLennan County should rest assured that we have not forgotten about West and all that its citizens have been through. Our local leaders have been and continue working to rebuild and their efforts are paying off for the community. Similarly, I remain committed to helping in any way possible and we will never forget those who perished in the disaster.”
For more information regarding the grants visit flores.house.gov/uploads/West-ISD-FEMA-Grants.pdf.