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Joplin Schools Build New Multi-Purpose Storm Shelter At Junge St - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Schools Build New Multi-Purpose Storm Shelter At Junge Stadium

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The Joplin School District is currently building a new multi-use storm shelter at Junge Stadium thanks to a $1.5 million dollar federal grant.

Between track, football and soccer, Joplin's Junge Stadium can see it's fair share of athletes and spectators. And now thanks to federal grant to the school district, those at the outdoor field will have shelter from the storm if severe weather ever hits.

"This one is going to function as a locker room, and all of the safe rooms are designed to withstand winds up to 250 miles per hour," said Jason Cravens, the Director of Secondary Education at Joplin Schools. 

Not only does the school district say that this will serve as a shelter for fans at the big game, but will also be open to the surrounding community. But only if you live in a five minute walking radius of the field.

"We don't want people out in storms, you know really when there is severe weather people should already have a plan," Cravens said.
 
And according to Cravens one perk to this shelter is that it's doors will be automatic, so if storms hits doors can be unlocked from afar to ensure everyone can get in, whether someone from the school is present or not.

"They will be synced to all of them, and that way the community is not dependent on someone arriving with the keys," Cravens said.
 
Residents in the neighborhoods surrounding the stadium say only a handful of the homes have safe rooms or a basement. Most seem thankful for a safe and free place to ride out storms.  

"We didn't really have a place, because there's no inside rooms, so if we just walk right down there it's really convenient," said Taylor Haddad. 

"It's a pretty good thing, I like it, we don't live very far away from here so that would be handy," said Monte Hudnall.
 
"Convenient, because all we gotta do is just walk down there, what 10 or 15 seconds maybe," said Richard Borjas.  

Borjas and other residents we spoke with say they currently rely on prayer to get them through the storm. And are looking forward to a community safe room just a stones throw away.  
Cravens says the doors will only open if winds reach more than 75 miles per hour and will fit about 15,000 people inside. The district estimates that the shelter field house should be completed around May 1st, and that the Joplin School District will go around to the community at that time to let residents know more information. 

To visit the Joplin School District's website, click here. 



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