Soaring Heights Elementary School Prepares for Tornado Season

Published 04/30 2014 05:57PM

Updated 04/30 2014 08:51PM

JOPLIN, MO.--- Soaring Heights Elementary School gears up for the tornado season. The school is happy a shelter is now available and they are prepared for when severe weather occurs. 

"It's big, there's space for all the classes and I feel much safer here," said Rachel Holden, Student. 

The safe room will hold 1,000 to 1,500 people. It has a basketball court, power outlets, and restrooms. 

"Gymnasiums are convenient, a lot of the older schools were using the cafeteria for PE and so it's a very usable space. The other good thing about a gymnasium is it's a lot of space," said Jason Cravens, Executive Director, Secondary Education. 

Principal Teresa Adam feels this shelter is needed in the community. 

"After seeing the devastation, we knew something had to change. And we made it a priority to make sure we had a community safe room so not just our kids, but communities are safe because our communities do support us," said Teresa Adam, Soaring Heights Elementary School Principal. 

The shelter will open during a tornado watch, warning, or when winds are more than 75 miles per hour. Students and staff feel secure knowing the shelter is available.

"If there was a tornado here, I would feel kind of scared and blessed. Because if the tornado hit us, we are just really safe in here," said Holden. 

"Knowing that we have a safe place to go in the event of a storm, makes us that much more sure we will all be safe," said Adam. 

The school is in the process of putting up signs to make the shelter easier to find.   

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