New Storm Shelter at Labette County HS


Lessons learned from past storms is changing how one southeast Kansas school district approaches being storm ready.

Crews poured concrete on this shelter at Labette County High School in Altamont Friday. The shelter features eight inch thick walls, and roof that is twenty-one inches thick at the center, and fourteen inches thick around the edges. Engineers say the building is designed to withstand storms like the one that struck Joplin in 2011.

“To me one of the great things is that this is happening during the school year,” says assistant superintendent Tony Blackwell. “Our students, our staff and our community are able to see the amount of rebar, the amount of concrete. It’s going to give us some peace of mind every time it clouds up and we’re put in a tornado watch.”

A total of six shelters will be built in the Labette County school district. Roughly $1.9 million of the $2.4 million project is being paid for by a grant from FEMA.

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