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Beveridge Magnet Middle School storm shelter

Posted at 5:26 PM, Apr 30, 2018

Teachers and staff are working to keep students safe during severe weather at Beveridge Magnet Middle School.

Their new art wing turns into a storm shelter for students in case of a tornado. 

Storm proof steel windows shut and latch in case of strong winds and severe weather.

What looks like a brand new art wing actually serves more than one purpose.

"This is our art wing and our above ground storm shelter, this storm shelter allows us to put the entire school building in this area," said Principal David Lavender. 

That's about 650 students and 110 staff members.

"We will pack students in this hallway, the art rooms and black box theater," said Dr. Lavender.

This 34.6 million dollar renovation project turns into a safe place to protect students from severe weather.

"It's kind of scary knowing that there is a tornado, but I also feel very safe in this building," said Colette Adair.

"I know there are teachers that are helping and want us to feel safe too," said Adair.

The entire structure is created to protect.

"These are solid steel storm doors for our windows," said Dr. Lavender.

Even the walls and ceilings.

"The walls are formed with cinder blocks with concrete poured down into cinder blocks so it's completely stable and can survive a tornado,"  said Dr. Lavender.

"A prefabricated concrete ceiling and a four inch solid pad poured over it,"  said Dr. Lavender.

Students practiced lining up and sitting along side the wall, getting in place just as they would if there was a real tornado.

"It's very cool and multipurpose, it's great that we can have safety but also have classrooms," said Adair.

Principal David Lavender says students will continue doing these drills to keep safety their number one priority.

"We sit right in the middle of the tornado alley and while the tornados are down this year you never know when they are going to come,"  said Dr. Lavender.