Federal assistance helping restore iconic Fulton convention center

The Paws and Taws Convention Center hosted more than five decades of events in Fulton, Texas, before Hurricane Harvey tore through it in August. The beloved structure unfortunately could not be repaired, but its demolition didn’t end the Paws and Taws story or the memories created in the building.

Rebuilding the 7,608-square-foot structure and its 1,488-square-foot deck was estimated to cost $2.8 million after winds lifted and damaged the walls, roof, floor and sub-flooring. Fulton received about $603,000 from its insurance settlement for the building.

Then in late April, the town learned FEMA's Public Assistance grant program would come through to support bringing Paws and Taws back to life. The grant program provides federal assistance to state, tribal, territorial and local governments, as well as certain types of nonprofits, so communities can recover quickly from major disasters. Public Assistance was able to provide just under $2 million in funding to supplement the City of Fulton’s insurance proceeds so that the structure can be rebuilt. The project’s architect and contractor are working closely with FEMA to ensure all guidelines are met.

The original Paws and Taws, whose name refers to the male and female counterparts in a square dance, opened in 1965 and attracted 340 dancers. Thanks to the efforts of the local and federal governments, it will soon again bustle with the sound of promenades, weddings, business meetings, award banquets and new memories being made.

For further information on Hurricane Harvey and Texas recovery, visit the Hurricane Harvey disaster web page at www.fema.gov/disaster/4332, Facebook at www.facebook.com/FEMAharvey, the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at www.twitter.com/FEMARegion6 or the Texas Division of Emergency Management website at https://www.dps.texas.gov/dem.

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FEMA’s mission: Helping people before, during, and after disasters. 

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS - Video Relay Service) (TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).

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