Schools in Joplin Getting Special Tornado Safe Rooms

5 years 4 months 18 hours ago Saturday, August 17 2013 Aug 17, 2013 Saturday, August 17, 2013 2:49:00 PM CDT August 17, 2013 in News
By: Emily Hauger, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JOPLIN - More than two years after a deadly tornado hit Joplin, rebuilding efforts continue across the area, including constructing new schools with special features.

The schools will have FEMA-authorized safe rooms designed to withstand the winds of an EF-5 tornado, but they will look like gymnasiums or classrooms. Mike Johnson, Joplin Schools' Director of Construction, said the double use of the rooms is supposed to make riding out a tornado a little easier.

"We've had traumatized kids. Many of them rode out these tornadoes," Johnson said. "Well, this is a happy place. This is where they come for P.E., play basketball. While they're here, they can shoot hoops. We'll have a flat screen TV that we'll have available that we can show movies."

Irving Elementary, which is expected to open after winter break, will have two safe rooms. One will be the school gymnasium on a daily basis but will double as a community safe room. It will be open anytime there is a tornado watch or warning.

"In the event of a tornado watch, the doors will electronically release, a beacon light will go on over the sign that says community tornado shelter to let people know we're open for business," Johnson said.

Johnson said FEMA regulations state that anyone who lives within a five-minute walk of Irving can come to the safe room. In the event of a tornado, an official will be on hand to direct crowds into the space. There will also be peep holes in the doors so officials can make sure it is a person knocking rather than debris.

Johnson said crews at an off-site location specially constructed the walls and ceilings to meet FEMA regulations. Then, they transported the pieces to the Irving site and built the structural parts of rooms in about a week. Turning those safe rooms into a gym and classroom will several months.

The other safe room at Irving will be a special education room for daily use, but it will double as the safe room for faculty, staff and possibly students. That room has special tornado-resistant windows with inch-thick glass and heavily bolted in frames.

Johnson said the tornado-resistant construction is important, but how it will hopefully make the kids feel is equally as valuable.

"We're hoping it will have a positive emotional effect on the kids when they're going to be terrified when the sirens go off," Johnson said.

Johnson plans for Irving Elementary to be complete by December, and the other 13 safe rooms around town to be ready by the spring 2014 tornado season.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Public Service Commission will hold a hearing on the Grain Belt Express on Tuesday. ... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, December 18 2018 Dec 18, 2018 Tuesday, December 18, 2018 5:34:00 AM CST December 18, 2018 in News
PETTIS COUNTY - Tom Belsha has lived on Crestview Drive for twenty years. He has been questioning the quality of... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 8:39:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in Top Stories
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Missouri woman who told police she intentionally drove into the Kansas River while trying to... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 6:34:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Denico Crawley, the man convicted of murder stemming from the case of Quenten Hurt, was sentenced to 105 years... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 6:06:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A jury trial for two defendants in the death of Carl DeBrodie has been postponed, according to... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 5:45:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Council members agreed to narrow down the number of hiring companies who applied to be in charge of... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 2:37:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Emergency crews spent most of Monday morning removing a semi-truck from a front yard after it veered off... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 2:16:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Motorists are advised to avoid the area near Missouri Boulevard this evening, from the intersection of West... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 1:34:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
FLORISSANT (AP) — Authorities say a 12-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his 6-year-old sister in suburban St. Louis while... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 12:00:00 PM CST December 17, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Missouri poacher has been ordered to repeatedly watch the movie "Bambi" as part of his sentence... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 10:18:00 AM CST December 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - SSM Health and MU Health Care will host the last of three scheduled public forums Monday night... More >>
1 day ago Monday, December 17 2018 Dec 17, 2018 Monday, December 17, 2018 3:10:00 AM CST December 17, 2018 in Top Stories
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A 57-year-old southwestern Missouri man has pleaded guilty in federal court to a $2.4 million wire fraud... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 16 2018 Dec 16, 2018 Sunday, December 16, 2018 9:48:54 PM CST December 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri sent out an MU Alert just before 6 p.m. Sunday to warn people about... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 16 2018 Dec 16, 2018 Sunday, December 16, 2018 6:45:00 PM CST December 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- From model trains to decorated window panes, there was fun for all ages at the Boone County History and... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 16 2018 Dec 16, 2018 Sunday, December 16, 2018 6:12:00 PM CST December 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – After a life-threatening accident 17 years ago, a Columbia man is proving you never have to give up... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 16 2018 Dec 16, 2018 Sunday, December 16, 2018 12:46:00 PM CST December 16, 2018 in Sports
COLUMBIA - A University of Missouri assistant football coach was arrested Saturday on a warrant from Miller County after failing... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, December 16 2018 Dec 16, 2018 Sunday, December 16, 2018 10:12:00 AM CST December 16, 2018 in Sports
FULTON - Two people were arrested on various drug charges Sunday morning. According to a release, Police stopped a... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, December 16 2018 Dec 16, 2018 Sunday, December 16, 2018 7:08:00 AM CST December 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Symphony will play holiday music Sunday for the Symphony of Toys concert. Students in the Missouri... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 9:45:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 33°
8am 33°
9am 37°
10am 41°
11am 44°