Additional domes to be constructed for community

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Updated: 5/06/2013 10:38 pm
AMORY, Miss. (WTVA) -- The Superintendent of Education for the Monroe County School District is looking over drawings of two future domes.

The structures are scheduled to open during the 2014-2015 school year. It affords the district to be the only one one in the north Mississippi to have gymnasiums that also serve as storm shelters.
"We know that if we have inclement weather on the way that we have a good safe place for our kids and our faculty to go. And not only that, but community members also," said Scott Cantrell, superintendent of education for Monroe County School District.

Both Hamilton School and Hatley Attendance Center will have their current gymnasiums transformed into classrooms once work is completed on the new domes.

"Our lower grades are growing. Our elementary school is growing by leaps and bounds and this will give us an opportunity to expand into the present PE building and hopefully turn it into six classrooms," said Hatley Attendance Center Principal Van Pearson.

"We'll be renovating our current PE Gyms into about 12 classrooms throughout the disrtrict. [In order] to provide for the bigger numbers in elementary school that we are seeing now," Cantrell stated.

Students at Hatley High School say it's re-assuring to know that there will be a sound structure to seek shelter in the event of severe weather.

"Looking forward to having a safe place where everybody can go in case of the events of another tornado, if it were to happen to come through," said Dallas King, student.

The new domes will open for the community to seek safety year round. 

"It's very reassuring knowing that even if we weren't in school we would have somewhere safe to go," said King.

Three-fourths of the funding for the pojects is coming from a FEMA grant program with the rest being paid for by the school district.

Bids on the domes should be advertised by the end of this month, and dirt is expected to be moved in August.

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