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Joplin will soon see more safe rooms for students and general pu - KOAM TV 7

Joplin will soon see more safe rooms for students and general public

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Construction is nearing completion for buildings that will soon provide the city of Joplin with more coverage during severe weather.

Cecil Floyd, McKinley, Eastmorland and Stapleton elementary schools, as well as the Junge Stadium field house, are all settings for the phase one wave of new safe rooms.

The structures are designed to accommodate people who live within a five minute walk. However the rooms will be open to anyone in the area during severe weather.

 "If you're driving by, they're open to all, if they're in the area of the safe rooms during the time of a storm," said Mike Johnson, director of utilities for Joplin Schools.

 Joplin resident Jose Mendoza raises his seven children around the corner from the new safe room at Junge Field. He says having this option makes gives him a sense of safety.

"It's actually something new for us and we're just glad that we do have some safe rooms around this area now," said Mendoza.

 Much of the cost of the safe rooms is funded by FEMA. The rest comes from the $62 million school bond voted on in April 2012.

Johnson says the structures will provide coverage for children and residents in a less daunting way.

"They don't feel like concrete bunkers or anything, they're quite open and airy."

 The exact date of completion for each safe room in phase one is still to be determined. Johnson says Cecil Floyd Elementary is the closest to being ready.

"We're putting the final touches on, they're striping the gym floor now, we're doing the final construction cleanup," said Johnson.

There will be an additional seven safe rooms projected to open in the fall.

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