Funding announced for tornado damaged schools - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Funding announced for tornado damaged schools

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

The June 2011 tornado made a path of destruction across the city of Springfield.

It ripped a large portion of the Dryden Memorial Elementary School's roof and tore through the hallways of the Brookings Elementary School.

But now thanks to funding from FEMA and the Massachusetts School Building Authority, new life will be shed on those buildings.

"Those kids deserve the best and now they're going to have the best," said Superintendent Daniel Warwick. 

The city would have had to pay millions for the projects.

"The city had to float millions of dollars because we had to respond immediately, effectively and compassionately," said Mayor Domenic Sarno.

But because of a proposal sent to the Massachusetts Legislature by Sen. James Welch, Springfield won't have to pay the burden.

The new will increase funding from $25 million to $38 million.

Typically projects like the Brookings school only gives the city about an 80 percent reimbursement.

But with the extra grants the city will have a full 100 percent.

"It's unprecedented, never been done in the states history of the MSBA," said Sarno.

"We got full support from the speaker and senate president and leadership which is why it happened so quickly," said State Treasurer Steven Grossman. 

Warwick said funding will cover costs for construction of the new Brookings School and will also set up improvements around Dryden.

"Not only is it great for the kids in the Six Point Neighborhood but also the Dryden School is back in session in a beautifully new school that is positively gorgeous for our kids," said Warwick.

Mayor Sarno said the funding allows the city to save $13 million.

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