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Riverton storm shelters nearing end of phase one - KOAM TV 7

Riverton storm shelters nearing end of phase one

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RIVERTON, KANSAS -

FEMA-certified storm shelters going up at Riverton schools are nearing the end of phase one and should be fully-operational by fall.

"When we saw the damage that occurred in Joplin, we started to look at our current shelters a little more closely, and came to the conclusion they were just not adequate. And felt we needed to upgrade to FEMA-certified shelters," USD 404 Riverton superintendent Todd Berry said.

Crossland Construction is heading the project. The storm shelters located at the schools are part of the Cherokee County Crisis Mitigation plan.

"Currently we are erecting the structural steel over the pre-cast part of the storm shelter. We're looking to finish that in the next three weeks and get that done and get a roof on this, get it dried in so we can start working on the inside of the building," Shay Laurence, job site manager for Crossland Construction said.

Phase one means the shelters will begin to take form, possibly having the capacity to be used in case of extreme emergency. They won't be FEMA-certified until projected completion date of August 25.

Some features of the shelters include ready-activation doors, which would automatically unlock when the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning. They will also serve as classrooms.


"Having had the opportunity to walk through the shelter that's currently being constructed, I feel really good about where we're going. I suppose that nothing is fool-proof, but I certainly feel a lot better about the direction we're going," Berry said.
 

The project should be complete after three or four phases, according to Crossland.

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