Parents of Beebe School Children Need Not Worry - There Are Storm Shelters for All Beebe School Children

May 30th, 2013 | By admin | Category: News and Features

BY

LEE “CAT” McLANE

Editor/Publisher

In an interview last week with Beebe School Superintendent Dr. Belinda Shook, she explained the number and size of the storm shelters available for Beebe School students and staff.

“As of June 2013, we will have four shelters; enough for every student and staff member,” Dr. Shook stated.

The year of completion and square footage  are outlined below:

•  2000 - Shelter located next to the Elementary and Primary Schools - 7,944 sq. ft. big enough for all elementary students, pre-K and daycare.

•  2002 - 11-12 High School - inside the halls. All 7-12 students and staff can fit into it.

•  2009- Early Childhood bldg. - 3,000 sq. ft. located in the intersection of the classroom hallways. Will easily hold all staff, kindergarten & first grade.

•    June 2013- new shelter at Beebe Middle School in McRae. 4,000 sq. ft. and will accommodate all students and staff on that campus.

Each of these shelters had differing costs: but FEMA paid 75% of most. The newest one at the Middle School was funded by a $882,000 grant - district pays $225,500 and FEMA pays $61l,500.

“I love the fact that we have shelters for all students and staff. In most cases, it truly means students are safer at school than they are at home during severe weather,” Dr. Shook stated. “It is very comforting to know, as a superintendent, that when the weather is severe we can take care of our people. I also think it is a great resource for our community. We have been fortunate to work with community officials (police) who open the shelter when a warning is issued. We are hoping the shelter in McRae will be a valuable resource for that community. In 1999, when the tornado struck our area, both cities were hit. Of course the shelters cost extra money during the construction, but this is something that I believe illustrates how important student safety is to our school board and administration. They are a great asset to our district.”

During school hours the shelters are for the students and staff but after hours they are open to the community. The Beebe Police officers open the shelters and monitor them.