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Construction Nearly Complete on Two Storm Shelters at Carthage Schools;Three Just Starting

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     Construction is nearly complete on two storm shelters in the Carthage school district, while        three others are just getting started.

Construction crews moved a frame of re-bar to be used in footings for a storm shelter at Columbian elementary today.  Its construction is just getting started. But one at mark twain elementary is almost finished.

Dr.Mark Baker showed two fourth grade kids from Mark Twain Elementary their new classroom.

Chase Lee says, "I think this classroom is awesome because we've been in a cramped room for so long and when we get in this space it will be all ours. So I’m just really excited." 

Students aren't worried about weather now but storm season is different.

Aubree Santillan admits, “They scare me.”

Chase says, “Tornadoes, I just think you never know when they're going to happen and you just want to be as prepared as you can be.”

Mark Twain principal Laurel Rosenthal says, “Since the tornado in Joplin, our children are a little edgy and worried. And so this is going to be wonderful for them to have a safe place and we appreciate it.”

They should be able to move in after Thanksgiving break.

Mark twain which was built in 1917 has a basement but students say this is better.

Aubree says, "The basement that we had was pretty dirty. It had like spiders and everything and it kind of smelled bad."

All the shelters connect directly to the school. At  Columbian elementary where construction is  just getting underway the building will have three classrooms.

Dr. Mark Baker says, "The intent is always to make its safer for kids and staff but we wanted   to use these daily. They're not just an open area just to play. But these  are actually classrooms,  art rooms Mark Twain’s never had an art room here  so we made it into an art  room so it’s a daily use and that was our goal.”

The new intermediate school's gym will be a storm shelter.

And making construction do double duty is part of the districts future plans.

Baker says, “So any new building,  we're gonna add a tornado shelter.”

      A shelter at Pleasant Valley  elementary is nearly complete,  while one at Fairview is just getting started.

     Construction for a shelter at Steadley elementary will begin after an electric line is moved by Empire District Electric.

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