JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Construction hasalready begun for a safety shelter at the Nettleton Intermediate and MiddleSchool campus.
Superintendent, James Dunivan said the shelter will cost $1.2 million.Three fourths of that will come from a federal grant and the rest will be takencare of by the school district.
"They're like an above ground bunker," saidDunivan. "They look like a regular building but they have very thick concretewalls and ceilings."
It's an investment that hesaid is crucial for Northeast Arkansas.
"We live in tornado alleyand any of us that have been in this area very long know that when spring comesin Jonesboro, we're grateful for the weatherman to keep us posted on severeweather," he said. "When you're a school our size or any size, when you have asafe room for your children and faculty to get into you feel a lot better."
As part of the federalgrant requirements the shelter will also be open to the community.
"We have people assignedto open these buildings during stormy weather so that anybody can get in there,"Dunivan said.
Dunivan said it's abuilding that will really benefit that area of Jonesboro.
"As far as I know therearen't any safe shelters in this side of town so this will be a big plus forthis area," he said. "One day when we get approval to build at the Jr. andSenior High just across the railroad tracks, those will be two nice safety sheltersfor this area."
Dunivan said as moneybecomes available, he's hoping to have one on every campus.