Reinforced hallways help students stay safe - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Reinforced hallways help students stay safe

By Justin Logan - bio | email feedback

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - Many schools across Arkansas have stand-alone storm shelters, but when plans were made to build the Newport Elementary School something different came to mind.

Newport Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Bennett said, "With the help of the architect and the engineers that designed this building they came up with a plan that would be cost effective to us to design the building as safe room instead of creating a whole new structure."

At first glance the hallways look normal. However, they're not just a walk-way to classrooms, they're built-in storm shelters.

"We have six different hallways to accommodate all those grade levels and each hallway is developed into a safe room," said Bennett.

The hallways are made to withstand an EF-3 tornado according to Tommy Freeman the Director of Maintenance and Transportation for Newport Schools.  

Freeman said, "Its eight inch concrete block reinforced with rebar and concrete. Eight inches of concrete overhead, rated to exceed a 150mph wind."

At the end of the halls are reinforced steel doors used to protect everyone from flying debris. 

"When we do have an emergency like that they can be shut by hand because typically you might think the electricity will not be on."

Dr. Bennett said having the storm shelter in the school will save time when seconds count.

"The key is the fact that it is so accessible to our staff. Our teachers just open the doors and sit their kids down in the hallway in an orderly manner and go through the drill if it's necessary," said Bennett.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • River effect snow spotted in Blytheville

    River effect snow spotted in Blytheville

    Wednesday, January 17 2018 11:33 PM EST2018-01-18 04:33:19 GMT
    Wednesday, January 17 2018 11:38 PM EST2018-01-18 04:38:24 GMT
    (Source: KAIT)(Source: KAIT)

    A weather phenomenon usually seen over the Great Lakes happened near Blytheville on Wednesday.

    A weather phenomenon usually seen over the Great Lakes happened near Blytheville on Wednesday.

  • Child dies from flu

    Child dies from flu

    Wednesday, January 17 2018 11:16 PM EST2018-01-18 04:16:50 GMT
    Wednesday, January 17 2018 11:36 PM EST2018-01-18 04:36:36 GMT
    Tyler Dannaway of Little Rock (Source: KARK)Tyler Dannaway of Little Rock (Source: KARK)

    An 8-year-old child was the first pediatric flu death so far this flu season, state health officials said Wednesday. 

    An 8-year-old child was the first pediatric flu death so far this flu season, state health officials said Wednesday. 

  • Drive for Life blood drive kicks off

    Drive for Life blood drive kicks off

    Wednesday, January 17 2018 10:37 PM EST2018-01-18 03:37:55 GMT
    Wednesday, January 17 2018 11:18 PM EST2018-01-18 04:18:47 GMT
    (Source: KAIT)(Source: KAIT)

    A three-day event which started Wednesday helps to collect blood during a time of the year where there always seems to be a shortage.

    A three-day event which started Wednesday helps to collect blood during a time of the year where there always seems to be a shortage.

Powered by Frankly