Is This School Tornado Proof? - - ABC13

Is This School Tornado Proof?

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A local school district is doing everything it can to keep students safe from storms. Locust Grove built an early learning center, strong enough to fend off an EF-5 tornado and it's all in the shape of the building.

The district finished the dome shaped building in August of 2012. This is the first full year of being in the building and the teachers have noticed the changes.

"You aren't thinking what do we do if something is this way or that way. We don't have to worry and think of what our other options are cause this is our option and it's safe," says kindergarten teacher, Sherri Graham.

Part of the reason it's safe is because the walls are 14 inches thick.

"They are the safest building you can build. It's concrete and steel just like a safe room," says Locust Grove Superintendent, David Cash.

If a tornado is approaching the school the students do still have to get in the hallways because of windows in the classrooms. There was one driving force in 2007 to build the first dome building for the district.

"We didn't have a community storm shelter. So, when the tornado sirens sound, we open up the arena and we can put two thousand people in there," says Cash.

The arena can fit more than the population of Locust Grove. These dome shaped schools are cheaper to build and save the district twenty-five thousand dollars in electric bills.

Even though people have told the district they don't like the look of the curved walls and ceilings, those things don't seem to matter after this week.

"When you see what happened in Moore these buildings become priceless," says Cash.

Next month, Locust Grove will break ground on a new high school with the same dome construction. It's expected to be open in August of 2014.

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