SARCOXIE, MO.--- Sarcoxie High School and Wildwood Elementary School students and staff will soon have a safe place to go if severe weather hits. Two new FEMA shelters are currently being built at the schools, and Superintendent Dr. Kevin Goddard says the facilities will serve multiple purposes.
"To be able to put these structures up, and know that within two to three minutes we can have our entire student body in there and secure, and them safe through a storm, that's a bid deal to the faculty and the community," said Dr. Kevin Goddard Superintendent of Sarcoxie Schools.
The Sarcoxie High School shelter will be used as a field house for student athletes.
"We also are going to use that as a locker room field house, weight room type facility. And it's a much needed addition to our, you know, campus," said Philip Lewis, Sarcoxie High School Principal.
Wildwood Elementary's shelter will be a cafeteria during school hours. The current kitchen at the elementary school is too small, and is difficult for workers to serve food efficiently. The new cafeteria will also have gymnasium flooring that will be used for various sports.
"They've been needing a more expanded lunch room area and a multi-purpose area for gyms and space like that, or at least sports will be able to use that," said Lewis.
School administrators say the shelters will benefit the district as well as the community, since it will be open to the public during severe weather. The district also hopes to complete more projects like this in the future.
"We kind of have this long range plan of about six years, of really updating our facilities and hopefully attracting new people into the community," said Dr. Goddard.
The elementary shelter is a $2.6 million project and the high school is $1.4 million. School administrators say they are planning on the high school construction to be finished by the end of this year. The elementary school shelter will be complete by the beginning of next year.