PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) - The Petal School District is getting ready to finish construction on one of its new storm shelters.
“It’s a great thing for the district obviously,” said Assistant Superintendent Andy Schoggin. “We’ve been working on it for several years. Heard about it several years ago that we were approved for the storm shelter sites. There were some delays due to some processing things, but in the last year you can obviously see we’ve made some great progress.”
Work on the shelters began in January. They are being built at all the schools in the district.
“It’s a 365-day project for the four sites that we have currently,” Schoggin said. “We are looking to complete those in January of 2020. The site behind us, Petal Middle School, will probably be the one we take possession of first.”
The shelter at the Middle School is looking to be completed mid October.
Schoggin said these shelters are greatly needed for student protection.
“The storm shelters are designed to hold the entire population of the schools, all the faculty, staff and students,” said Schoggin. “It’s meant as a school shelter only. It’s not designed as a long-term community shelter. It wasn’t built for that. What it is designed for are those things we encounter in South Mississippi with inclement weather. There are a lot of things we have to make sure we have precautions for.”
Schoggin said when the building is not need as a shelter, it will be used in different ways.
“While we’re not utilizing it for that, it provides a great space for us,” said Schoggin. “We are a growing district and it will allow us some space for other things and activities for our students.”