East Tawakoni breaks ground on shelter

East Tawakoni officials broke ground Monday morning on a new storm shelter that is to also double as a civic center and library.

Mayor Johnnie LaPrade said before the groundbreaking ceremony, “I’m anxious for it to get started, and I’m looking forward to the end of it. I have confidence in the contractor that it will go as planned.”

That contractor is JPJ General Contractor, LLC that won the job with the low bid of $416,727 on the 1,200 square-foot building.

The city council awarded the bid at its August council meeting.

Construction company owner Jonathan Jackson and job superintendent Jeff Bain attended the preconstruction meeting and ceremony that followed.

Engineer Mike Donnan with Hayter Engineering was also present at the meeting along with Hayter’s Kevin Vanhoozier.

Donnan gave the contractor high marks after the bid was awarded in August. He said the winning company was “a very good contractor. I’m pleased they were low bidder.”

Charles Edwards represented Resource Management at the meeting and ceremony. Edwards’ company was in charge of administration of the grant.

LaPrade said the scheduled start date for work on the center was Oct. 9 although work was expected to begin the following day. She said the finish date was April 6 for the180-day project, dependent on the weather.

Located just off State Highway 276 on city land on Oak Leaf Trail adjacent to TJ’s, the project is funded by a Community Enhancement grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Community Development Block Grant program.

Engineer Donnan said at an earlier meeting this year the structure was not “your normal city hall” type building and could withstand an E5 tornado.

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