PIGGOTT, Ark. (KAIT) - A new tornado safe room should strike a positive note with the people of Piggott.
The newly installed room, which can accommodate 600 people, also serves as a band room for the Piggott High School.
The project began two years ago.
A FEMA grant funded two-thirds of the project, and the school paid the rest of the bill.
The grant, worth $1.1 million, built a structure that not straight-line winds nor tornadoes can blow down.
The concrete walls were built 16 feet below the ground and then anchored into it. The ceiling and roof are made of concrete and steel.
Superintendent Barry DeHart said the entire school system can now have peace of mind.
“It’s a place that we can go to that if there’s high winds, there’s tornadoes in the area, this is certainly a place that we can go,” he said. “It makes our kids and parents feel at ease that we have a place to go to.”
The Piggott Elementary School is in the works to get a tornado room, too.
“We’re in the process of breaking ground for our elementary, [to get] a safe room for those kids also,” he said.
Not only does the tornado safe room benefit the school kids and staff, but the community of Piggott.
DeHart said he plans on working with the county and city to set up times the tornado room will be open after school hours.