NEW BROCKTON, Ala. (WDHN) — In just the last three years, the student population has jumped by nearly 300 students at New Brockton Elementary.
In the 2021-2022 school year, the facility will open a 12-classroom addition. It will also serve as a modern storm shelter.
The new windows are designed to handle winds in excess of 200 miles per hour from an ef-5 tornado. The cinder block walls are reinforced with strong materials.
“In these classrooms, I decided, at the time, to look into making it a storm shelter, which the board agreed and voted to also make it a storm shelter, which makes all of our people on this campus safe,” Superintendent Kevin Killingsworth said. “We’re excited about that. We’re excited about getting it completed. We’re nearing the end, and we should be moving in and should be in the building by mid-June.”
With the deadly tornado that struck Enterprise High School in 2007, contractors want to make sure their storm shelters can withstand 200-mile-per-hour plus winds
“An interesting feature about these windows are they are designed for 200-mile per hour winds without the use of a steel shutter,” said Zachary Cupp with Beasley Construction. “Every window has 60 seven-inch studs anchor to the wall they are designed for 200-mile per hour winds without the storm shutter.”
Killingsworth says the schools are seeing rapid growth due to Enterprise charging a tuition for out-of-district students and several large businesses moving into central Coffee County.
By not having to shut storm shutters due to the new windows, Killingsworth said that allows teachers more time to calm the concerns of young students in times of impending severe weather.