Gov. Nixon announces student safety enhancements in Jackson - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Gov. Nixon announces student safety enhancements in Jackson

(Source: Pixabay) (Source: Pixabay)

During a visit to West Lane Elementary School in Jackson, Missouri on Monday, September 19, Gov. Jay Nixon announced he has authorized the State Emergency Management Agency to proceed with a proposal to build a tornado safe room capable of protecting more than 2,500 students, staff and residents in the Jackson R-2 School District.

The governor spoke at 1:15 p.m. Monday and said “keeping Missouri’s children safe and secure when they’re in a top priority of my administration, and the Jackson R-2 School District’s proposal will help do that in a creative and cost-effective way.

“In Missouri, we know all too well the destruction and devastation tornadoes and severe weather can inflict and that’s why I have prioritized construction of community safe rooms, particularly in schools.”

The safe room would be built at West Lane Elementary School, which is in close proximity to two other Jackson R-2 schools – Orchard Drive Elementary and Jackson Junior High School – that could use the safe room, as well.

According to the district’s plans, the safe room space will also be used as a gymnasium.

The governor’s announcement came in a school-wide assembly in West Lane Elementary’s combination gymnasium and cafeteria.

Community safe rooms are specially designed and engineered structures built to withstand 250-mile-per-hour winds, often using 14-inch precast concrete and steel-reinforced doors. Walls and roof sections are capable of withstanding impacts from wind-borne debris that can act as missiles.

Missouri currently has 195 completed safe rooms across the state. Since Gov. Nixon took office, he has approved or Missouri has moved forward with 189 community safe room projects, 124 of which are in schools.

In all, the completed projects and those being designed and constructed in the state would be capable of protecting more than 212,500 Missourians.

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