Wheaton R-3 Celebrates Grand Opening of Tornado Shelter | KSNF/KODE

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WHEATON, Mo. – Students and teachers are celebrating the official launch of a long-term project to build a tornado-safe room.

“I’m really excited for the kids,” said Jackie Banks, Wheaton Parent.

Banks says this project is important to the community, and especially to her children.

“I just feel amazing how safe my kids are at school now that when the time comes immediately they have a place to go,” she said.

This is the future tornado security room, in progress between primary and secondary. This marks the official inauguration of the long-awaited project. The finished structure will also serve as a school cafeteria. And it will also open as a community shelter for up to 600 people, which is a high priority given past storm warnings.

“A tornado hit a few meters from our school about four years ago. And the students were still there. We were about to load the buses. And that moment, really, in my mind, we were going to figure out a way to make it happen after that event, and I’m just glad it’s here and it’s starting,” Trish Wilson said. Wheaton R-3 Superintendent.

Not an easy path. Although voters approved a $1,000,000 bond financing in 2016, they still needed more. Now it becomes a reality, providing future protection in an area that lacks shelter.

“It’s definitely peace of mind for me and for the administration and for our community because there’s no safe room near us,” Wilson said.

“I mean, you look around the next closest I know is Cassville in poverty, you know, so you’re talking to an area where people who want bad weather come, they have nowhere to go. go,” said Clint Walton, RE Smith.

The project is expected to end in August 2023.

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