Advertisement

Archive for Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bishop Seabury receives FEMA grant to build safe room

May 16, 2012

Advertisement

A visit by a Bishop Seabury Academy trustee to tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo., has prompted the school to look into constructing a room built so soundly it could withstand a missile attack.

The school has received almost $400,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to build a roughly 2,600-square-foot safe room attached to its gym. The safe room would hold locker rooms and dressing rooms and have a second-floor storage area above it, head of school Don Schawang said.

The addition would allow for the school to tear down old gym locker rooms to make space for more lunch room seating. The school also plans to double its parking lot.

The total project is expected to cost more than $1 million. Along with the FEMA money, Bishop Seabury is raising private funds to complete the project and has one private donor putting up a $350,000 challenge grant, Schawang said.

The hope is to have the parking lot done this summer and the shelter finished by late fall.

“Everyone is excited about it and it is something we want to do very quickly,” Schawang said.

Currently during tornado warnings, students take shelter in inner classrooms and hallways.

The idea for a safe room came from a trustee who visited Joplin with his older son as a first responder after last May’s tornado.

“What he found were meat lockers and safe rooms as the only things still standing,” Schawang said.

The safe room would be for the students and staff at the school in the event of a tornado. The school had looked into opening the safe room up to the surrounding neighborhood during a tornado warning, but FEMA had concerns about the amount of time people who are off campus would need to get there, Schawang said.

Comments

Paul Geisler 2 years, 7 months ago

Wow! The irony astounds me! I wonder how many parents of students at BSA are Republicans who are screaming mad about federal tax dollars being wasted on pet projects but when it's FEMA money for a safe room for their kids at their PRIVATE school they think it is okay! Why in the world is $400K in federal money being spent on a safe room at a private school in Lawrence, KS? I'm sure Brownslack will ask them to return the money when he finds out.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

I'm certain the government provides safe rooms at a wide variety of locations. As I'm certain that should a tornado come roaring down Clinton Parkway, they would welcome anyone seeking shelter. The question is, should that be you out on Clinton Parkway when the tornado comes, will you seek shelter or will you stick to your principles and allow that storm to deposit your butt in Oz?

Paul Geisler 2 years, 7 months ago

Really? In private buildings? Please provide examples if you're so certain.

And if you had read the entire article you wouldn't be making such a bold prediction: "The safe room would be for the students and staff at the school in the event of a tornado. The school had looked into opening the safe room up to the surrounding neighborhood during a tornado warning, but FEMA had concerns about the amount of time people who are off campus would need to get there, Schawang said."

Jake Esau 2 years, 7 months ago

The only place that's feasibly close enough for people to safely get to the safe room is the apartment complex that's right next to the football/soccer field, and that's only with sufficient warning.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 7 months ago

Yo Magnus. Here is a link http://www.fema.gov/plan/prevent/saferoom/resinit.shtm#0

Grants are indeed avaiable for private buildings - grants are avaiable for residential mobile parks.

Paul Geisler 2 years, 7 months ago

Really? In private buildings? Please provide examples if you're so certain.

And if you had read the entire article you wouldn't be making such a bold prediction: "The safe room would be for the students and staff at the school in the event of a tornado. The school had looked into opening the safe room up to the surrounding neighborhood during a tornado warning, but FEMA had concerns about the amount of time people who are off campus would need to get there, Schawang said."

ECM 2 years, 7 months ago

So there are safe rooms in every public school in town?

Jake Esau 2 years, 7 months ago

Most schools are masonry (concrete and brick) structures. The building Seabury is in is primarily sheet metal, which would be easily destroyed by a strong (EF3+) tornado. The other school buildings in town can withstand a lot more punishment.

Steve Miller 2 years, 7 months ago

It's time for a corndog and some popcorn..

Commenting has been disabled for this item.