Lumberton FEMA dome taking shape - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Lumberton FEMA dome taking shape

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Towering more than 50 feet above the ground, the 25,447 square-foot building being built between Lumberton Intermediate School and Lumberton High School is now four months into construction.

It's a disaster dome that will allow first responders and people who are unable to evacuate during emergencies to safely ride out storms like hurricanes.

"Lumberton ISD is one of the school districts that is used as a command center and this will be kind of a command center in the event of an emergency," said Lumberton Independent School District Assistant Superintendent Gerald Chandler.

The multi-million dollar project is part of the Texas Safe Shelter Initiative, and is being funded primarily by FEMA grants to Hardin County.

Crews were hard at work Wednesday making sure the dome will be ready by its scheduled completion date next summer.

The dome top was inflated on Saturday.

"We still have to put all the concrete floors in there, and then we've got bathrooms to finish, the air conditioning, the electrical and the lighting and everything," said James Haggard with the project's general contracting company Daniels Building and Construction.

The dome is not only for disasters though, it will double as a Fine Arts Center featuring a 1,500 seat auditorium for student activities and community events.

"We do not have an auditorium in our school district... we have a small stage but when we have big events we usually have to go out and find other venues," said Chandler.

You might call it a colosseum... for concerts and cover.

Contractors say there is a similar dome being worked on at East Chambers and one in the works for Kountze.

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