DeSoto County plans school safe rooms - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

DeSoto County plans school safe rooms

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DeSoto County Superintendent Milton Kuykendall said the storm in Oklahoma is a reminder of how powerful mother nature can be. DeSoto County Superintendent Milton Kuykendall said the storm in Oklahoma is a reminder of how powerful mother nature can be.
Grant money is expected to pay for 95 percent of the project. Grant money is expected to pay for 95 percent of the project.
DESOTO COUNTY, MS -

(WMC-TV) - The aftermath of an Oklahoma tornado tearing up everything in its path including an elementary school has some DeSoto County making plans for storm shelters in their schools.

Hernando Elementary is one of six schools in DeSoto County that will eventually get safe rooms in the event of severe weather. The schools are waiting on approval from state and federal emergency agencies to begin work on six safe rooms for elementary schools.

DeSoto County Superintendent Milton Kuykendall said the storm in Oklahoma is a reminder of how powerful mother nature can be.

"This is a fear every school employee has. [It} is something of a disaster happening and have some child lose their life," said Kuykendall.

Grant money is expected to pay for 95 percent of the project, which is being headed up by A2H architects in Lakeland. Stewart Smith expects the go ahead from officials within months.

"The safe spaces in general are met for FEMA 361, which requires a 250 mile an hour wind resistance," said Smith.

Safe rooms can double as recreational buildings during school hours along with shelter for the community. Kuykendall hopes the district does not have to use them, but is looking forward to added protection if they need it.

"This morning, this is more on our minds than it has been in the last two weeks, because of what happened in Oklahoma," said Kuykendall.

The architect estimates the construction could take anywhere between 6 months and a year.

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