Two local schools getting ‘tornado rooms’ for cases of emergency

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay District Schools is building two new ‘tornado’ rooms that will be used for shelter in cases of emergency.

The school district is working with state and local partners, including the Bay County Emergency Management Department to turn plans for freestanding tornado rooms at Deane Bozeman School and Mowat Middle School into a reality.

“Both of those schools have quite a bit of upgrades, from time and from hurricane repairs. Both of those will be additional facilities built on the schools that would be multi-purpose,” said Director of Facilities, Lee Walters.

Officials with the school district say Mowat is a central location within the county and the tornado room will serve more than one purpose for residents.

“It would be a facility used every day. But would also be built with the enhanced hurricane protection requirements that would allow it to be used by Bay County Emergency Management when they need it for shelter as well,” said Walters.

For Bozeman the two programs they have for their students will be incorporated into the new building.

“They’ve been so successful with some of their agriculture, and veterinary program when it is not needed for a shelter,” said Waters.

While it is still early in the process for the projects, funding is being secured.

“It’s just another step in making sure the funding is able to come through. It ultimately depends on when FEMA can award those funds, or steps to make sure that we don’t meet those requirements to get there,” said Waters.

As of now, the district has chosen an architect for Mowat but the search is still on for Bozeman.

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