Construction underway for storm shelters in the Petal School District

Construction underway for storm shelters in the Petal School District

PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) - The Petal School District is working to keep students and faculty members safe in the event of an emergency situation. WDAM looked at what’s being done to effort a safe zone when needed.

“It’s meant to withstand an E5 tornado,” said Petal School District Assistant Superintendent Andy Schoggin. “So, what we have is a pretty solid structure that will house all of our students and staff should we have such an event hit our school.”

Storm shelters are being constructed at all five school properties within the Petal School District. Schoggin pointed out the new construction at Petal Primary School. He said this is an opportunity to enhance student safety.

“This one is designed to hold the entire staff and student population here,” said Schoggin. “Just over a thousand students and staff, should we have to get in, because of inclement weather or any other type of emergency.”

All locations are being built based on the size of the school’s population. As for the price tag, Schoggin said the district will only be responsible for 10% of the total cost. About $800,000 will come from district operating funds.

“We pay 10% with FEMA and MEMA making up the 90% that’s remaining,” said Schoggin. “We have budgeted. We knew this would be one thing we wanted to invest in. So, as being good stewards of our money, we have budgeted for this fiscal year to make that payment as part as our 10%.”

Construction started in January 2019. It's a 365 day project with an expected completion date of late winter or early spring.

“We feel like it’s an investment in our students and our staff, the safety of our students and staff,” said Schoggin. “Hopefully, it helps our community understand that when they send their kids here that we are looking out for their best interest.”

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