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Hurricane shelters receive upgrades thanks to grants awarded to Lee County

Hertz Arena
Posted at 5:49 PM, Oct 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-19 18:16:35-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Hertz Arena and Alico Arena are getting some upgrades when it comes to protecting people seeking emergency shelter.

The funds will go towards hardening roofs, windows, and doors, improving their ability to protect people seeking relief during a hurricane.

Basically, improvements will be made so roofs don't leak, doors are secure, and windows will be replaced with impact glass so they don't easily shatter.

General Manager of Hertz Arena, Scott Bryant says they are grateful for the upgrades, especially after seeing how many depended on them in 2017 with Hurricane Irma.

“When you saw the activity for hurricane Irma and the number of people that were in here, it became evident that we were needed very much,” said Bryant.

That need could continue to grow, especially since Hertz Arena is the largest shelter in Southwest Florida.

While more inspections still need to be done at both arenas, the good news is Lee County says the grants will cover 100% of the cost.

“It’s a big win for us and a big win for the county,” said Bryant.

On Tuesday, Lee County Commisoners had signed $14.7 million in post-Irma CDBG disaster relief and mitigation funding agreements, including $7.1 million for improvements to canal and roadside flood control structures and sidewalk repair in San Carlos Park and $253,000 for a coastal risk assessment and resiliency study.