Sarasota News Leader

12/14/2012

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SHELTER STANDARDS Work continues on the rebuilding of Booker High School on North Orange Avenue in Sarasota. The school had some of the oldest structures in the district. Photo by Norman Schimmel COUNTY COMMISSION APPROVES FUNDING TO MAKE MOST OF THE REBUILT BOOKER HIGH SCHOOL SUITABLE AS A HURRICANE SHELTER By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor After being reassured by staff that state law does not require the Sarasota County Schools to make as much of the rebuilt Booker High School suitable for a hurricane shelter as the county needs, the Sarasota County Commission voted unanimously on Dec. 11 to fund the completion of the project. to ensure that new educational facilities can serve as public shelters for emergency management purposes.��� It adds, ���Within the scope of the upgrades are an increased design wind load from 130 mph to 170 mph and increasing the [Enhanced HurCommissioner Joe Barbetta had objected ricane Protection Area] from the required 50 to the $1,004,822 funding request during the percent to 100 percent less the Media Center, board���s Dec. 4 regular meeting. The commis- and any Labs and Administration.��� sion then postponed the vote one week while staff researched the matter further. The memo notes that once the Booker projA Dec. 11 memo to the commission from Mike ect is completed ��� in 2013 ��� the county will Tobias, the county���s emergency services exec- have a 24-hour shelter with space for about utive director, says, ���Local Emergency Man- 2,400 people. agement agencies are required by the State Division of Emergency Management to address The district���s total cost of the Booker conshelter deficit reduction strategies, which in- struction is about $58 million, Scott Ferguson, clude retrofits and rebuilds. The State Board spokesman for the school district, told The of Education requires local School Boards Sarasota News Leader.

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