LIBERAL, Mo. — The Liberal Elementary School and High School have new tornado shelters for not just students and staff, but the community.
How excited is the district to finally get these shelters? The school district has been trying to get these shelters for several years. After receiving a FEMA grant they were able to make it happen.
The two shelters cost around $3.1 million. The district was able to come up with roughly half of the money and Elementary School Principal Leticia Fry says that they are grateful to be given the other half.
Leticia Fry – Liberal Elementary School Principal, said, “Our superintendent Mr. Harvey, he made the FEMA grant, applied for it several years ago. Finally got it, had a chance to make it happen and this is the result of a lot of hard work on a lot of peoples part.”
Prior to these shelters many Liberal residents like Elizabeth King would have to bank on friends and neighbors for help.
Elizabeth King – Liberal Resident, said, “Before the shelters were opened what we would have to do is find a neighbor or friend who would have a basement and we would simply just go to their house and we would hope that they were home and their doors would be unlocked.”
“It will open automatically if there is a storm warning in our area. If the sirens go off, it becomes an open facility for everyone,” said Fry.
Now not just for fry but for all of Liberal, Missouri they know they have a place to go.
“It’s very nice for the community just because there’s a great deal of people who would not have a basement of their own, or know someone who has a basement. This way they know that there’s one place that they go and you never have to worry about the doors being opened,” said King.
King adds that having these storm shelters takes off a great load of stress for her and her family. Although the elementary schools shelter is technically for students and staff, fry adds that if someone was in need during a storm they won’t turn them down.