SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – With $15 million left over from the April 2019 bond issue, the Springfield Public School district has decided to go ahead and add new storm shelter/gyms to four elementary schools. The shelters are expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
Horace Mann, Mark Twain, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Eugene Field elementary schools will be getting the storm shelters, which are currently found in only nine of the 53 schools in the district.
“It’s been more than a wish. It’s really been a need,” said Janell Bagwell, the current principal at Field elementary and former principal at Twain.
How much of a need? Well, at Field elementary for instance, the 410 students can’t be placed in the hallways when severe weather strikes because there’s glass in the doors and windows that line the ceiling.
“So our designated areas are our bathrooms that we basically cram as many people as we can into one space ,” Bagwell explained.
The new gyms will also provide some much needed space for other activities.
“This is our ‘cafagymatorium’,” Bagwell said with a smile as she pointed to a part of the school that has a stage area facing a large floor space that includes basketball goals and long folded tables against the walls. “We use it for P.E., breakfast, lunch, any assemblies. But actually it’s not really big enough to hold