SAFE SHELTER: Valley Tests New Tornado Safe Zone

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Tornado sirens and weather radios sounded around 10:15 Wednesday morning as part of the state-wide test for Severe Weather Awareness Week.

Schools across the state took part in the drill, including a test for a new tornado shelter at Valley High School.

Wednesday morning Valley High School tested out their new state of the art safe shelter during the state-wide drill.

In the basement of the high school, the weight-room and wrestling room are also FEMA-certified shelters.

The two rooms have twelve-inch concrete ceilings surrounded by twelve-inch re-enforced concrete walls.

“It`s built like a bomb shelter so to speak and the roofs all have re-enforced steal, no pipes could fall down on the kids or the adults, if an F-5 tornado ripped off the top two floors, these two areas would be in tack,” says Valley High School Activities Director Brad Rose.

The 40,000 square feet area was paid for by a $1.75 million FEMA grant, and students don't seem to mind the upgrade.

“This room is definitely more comfortable, before we had to all go into different classrooms and it was really uncomfortable but this room you can fit a lot of people and you definitely feel safe in here,” says Valley High School Senior Colby Turnquist.

Between both rooms, the shelters can hold 2,300 people, providing a sense of security for both students and staff.

“Everything is made a lot thicker and they told us about all the safety and so it makes you feel secure knowing how well the building is,” says Valley High School Senior Brooke Brady.

“It makes me feel very good that we have a place to put people safely,” says Rose.

The FEMA area was just completed in January.