Officials involved with the construction of the new safe room at Mayflower Elementary School toured the structure, received updates regarding the project and discussed concerning issues during a gathering on Wednesday.

Board members Sherilee Holland, Terry Turner and Delorise Kocher all were present as well as Superintendent John Gray, Brad Peterson with civil engineering firm Crafton Tull, architect Randall Palculict from Jackson, Brown, Palculict, Moser Construction’s Jay Davis and Louie Martin and Mayflower School District’s Randy Rankin.

Gray said this is the first time they have all formally visited the site and wanted to get everyone together.

He said everyone seems pleased with the progress of the project and how it is all shaping up.

"The building is coming along well," Gray said. "It feels like a very big, strong safe room and should do the job really well."

He said all involved are excited about moving forward and completing the project.

Moser Construction’s Jay Davis, the general contractor, said the time frame for the project is currently early November, which is different from what Gray originally told the Log Cabin Democrat in June, when he estimated the finishing date to be early August.

Davis said there was one delay pushing them back a bit; that issue was with a waterline and storm sewers, dealing with positioning of pipes and runoff.

A drainage system was added that will allow everything to drain — the issue of water running into the schools was looked at — and with the rain the area has had so far, he said developers have seen no problems.

"Other than that it’s went really well," Davis said. "[We’re] setting about 60 percent complete right now. Provided there are no unforeseen circumstances, I reckon we’ll reach [the November date]."

The Mayflower School Board approved a bid for nearly$1.2 million from Moser Construction Inc. during a special meeting Jan. 24, 2017.

Gray previously told the LCD that the total bid came to $1,309,575, including the FEMA grant for $553,000; a contribution from United Way of Faulkner County for $10,000; state funding through Rep. Douglas House for $70,000; $5,000 from the Rainbow Foundation; and $2,600 in general donations, with the balance being paid through the school district building fund.

The safe room — part of the district’s 20-year plan — he said, seemed to be supported by nearly everyone he interacted with in the community. They agreed a shelter for the students, also open to the public after school, was needed, especially after the devastation the 2014 tornadoes caused the area.

Gray said an open house will be held in the next month or so for the public to view the new addition.