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Storm Shelter Dedicated To Aline-Cleo Elementary

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The Aline-Cleo Elementary School celebrates a new storm shelter with a dedication ceremony Thursday morning. The Aline-Cleo Elementary School celebrates a new storm shelter with a dedication ceremony Thursday morning.

The Aline-Cleo Elementary School celebrated having a new storm shelter with a dedication ceremony Thursday morning.

News 9's Storm Tracker Marty Logan was a guest at the ceremony and also presented the school with safety weather tips.

“Our goal is to provide a safe place for every single student, teacher and staff person in the school during the threat of severe weather, and this safe room is a great first step toward that goal and is reason to celebrate,” said Aline-Cleo Superintendent Barry Nault.

The safe room was made possible by a $15,000 donation from the MidContinent chapter of the Gas Processors Association. The project team originally estimated the start date for safe room construction to be in May or June, but in late February, the school district learned of a pre-constructed safe room that could be transported from Joplin, Mo., to the Aline-Cleo school and would be available immediately.

“There has been much talk about having safe rooms available in as many schools as possible, but the challenge is, as always, the cost in an environment where budgets are being stretched already. We organized a committee to identify communities in the operating areas of many GPA member plants/operations that met our list of criteria, which is how we chose Aline-Cleo. We are incredibly pleased to make this shelter a reality for the students and teachers,” said MidContinent GPA member Wayne Tate, Exterran

The shelter was delivered to the school in mid-March, well ahead of the original timeline. It was one of 31 shelters originally built to protect children at temporary schools constructed in Joplin after an EF5 tornado destroyed or damaged 10 Joplin School District buildings, including the district's only high school in May 2011.

In early April, voters in the Aline-Cleo Public Schools District approved a bond issue that will help fund additional safe rooms to provide a safe place for every student, teacher and staff person. Nault expects to have the additional shelters in place before the start of the next school year to cover the entire school, which hosts about 80 children ranging from pre-K to 6th grade, plus its teaching staff.

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