HATLEY, Miss. (WTVA) — Land on the campuses of Hatley School and Hamilton School may soon feature domed gyms that meet FEMA standards.
"That's winds in excess of 250 miles per hour," said Scott Cantrell, superintendent of education for the Monroe County School District.
The federal government is being asked to approve the design and cost of those projects. Once that's given, construction can begin, which could be this summer.
The new domes will feature a basketball floor, restrooms, a coach's office, an electrical room and storage closets, but most importantly, they will serve as a shelter for students, faculty and the community in the event of severe weather.
"We're allowed so many people in the immediate area of the school to count toward credit for receiving monetary credit for the building of the dome," said Cantrell. "So absolutely we want the public to know they're welcome to come."
"It will give the community people somewhere safe to go if that emergency arises," added Van Pearson, principal at Hatley Attendance Center. "Of course, our number one thing will be get our students in, and then we'll house as many of the community that we can."
Those domed buildings will be smaller than the one already standing at Smithville.
"Each building, I believe, is 7,990 square footage, and there's basically just a PE gym," said Cantrell.
In comparison, the dome at Smithville School is around 18,000 square feet, but Hamilton and Hatley schools already have PE gyms on their campuses.
Plans call for current PE gyms at Hamilton and Hatley schools, which are metal buildings, to be renovated into auditoriums and classroom space.