EAST PRAIRIE, MO (KFVS) - New additions are on the way at some school districts in the Heartland. Advance, Chaffee, Scott City and East Prairie will be installing storm shelters within the next year.
East Prairie School Board President Tim Wagner said this project is the result of an April election result. Tax payers voted to extend a bond issue and he believes that money will benefit both the community and the school.
"That's one less thing that as parents we have to worry about out in our jobs and daily lives that our kids are safe in school," Wagner said.
Wagner said they estimate in about 15 minutes they will be able to get all 1,200 students and 100 staff in the safe room.
"The way that news reports now and the warnings that we get, we feel really good that 15 minutes could possibly save everybody," Wagner said.
After school hours, they plan on opening up the facility if a tornado warning is issued for the county. Wagner wants to the community to feel like they have a place to go if they need it.
"And having the ability to provide our children first, and our community second, if it's not during school hours the safety to come into this safe room and protect 1,900 people, it's just overwhelming," Wagner said.
He said 75 percent of the project comes from federal funds. The other 25 percent comes from taxpayers in the form a bond issue.
"We've had three bond issues that I know of and they've all passed at over 80 percent," Wagner said. "That speaks volumes."
With two grand kids in the school system, Wagner said he's glad to know they will be safe.
"Like you said, the kids are the future of east Prairie," Wagner said. "They are our most valuable possessions."