West ISD gets over $20 million from FEMA - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

WEST

West ISD gets over $20 million from FEMA

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FEMA is laying the groundwork for West to begin rebuilding after agreeing to give the city more than $20 million in aid. 

Congressman Bill Flores announced Monday that the money will be specifically used for rebuilding the schools and getting students out of these temporary classrooms as soon as possible.

The force from the blast blew off bricks, broke windows and caved in roofs, destroying all three schools.

In the aftermath, kids had to be bused to Waco daily in order to finish the school year.

U.S. Representative Bill Flores says he knows the transition has been tough on students.

"It's hard for me to imagine, to put myself in their shoes as to what they've gone through," says Flores.

The district worked tirelessly after the explosion to build a temporary campus to get students back in west by the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year.

The city couldn't afford to start construction on the $50-60 million dollar project to rebuild the schools on its own. But now this aid will allow them to move forward with their plans. 

"The federal help is what they needed to sort of get them over the resource hump," says Flores.

West Mayor Tommy Muska says getting this money is a big step in their rebuilding process. "It's a huge benefit and its part of our community," says Muska. "I mean like I said before, you have to have good schools to have a good community and you have to have a good community to have good schools."

West ISD Superintendent Marty Crawford says while they still have some details to hammer out, they're aiming to have both campuses rebuilt by spring of 2016.

"Our goal is to make sure our kids are happy. Certainly they're happy right now because they're back at school here in West but at the same time they're going to be ecstatic the day we cut the ribbon on the new school buildings."

The West ISD School Board will meet Wednesday to approve the building plans, meaning construction crews could break ground in July.

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