Arlington Elementary School opens new safe room - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Arlington Elementary School opens new safe room

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After a short announcement Thursday, more than 900 students at Arlington Elementary School marched quietly down the hallways, outside, and into the new safe room. After a short announcement Thursday, more than 900 students at Arlington Elementary School marched quietly down the hallways, outside, and into the new safe room.
The safe room can hold up to 1,200 people, while at the same time, withstand powerful winds. The safe room can hold up to 1,200 people, while at the same time, withstand powerful winds.
"It's set up for a category five tornado," said Arlington Fire Chief David Franks. "It's set up for a category five tornado," said Arlington Fire Chief David Franks.
ARLINGTON, TN -

(WMC) - Arlington Elementary School conducted its first emergency drill inside a new safe room storm shelter Thursday afternoon.

The Town of Arlington added the new shelter for students and staff to use in the event of severe weather.

The safe room can hold up to 1,200 people, while at the same time, withstand powerful winds.

After a short announcement Thursday, more than 900 students at Arlington Elementary School marched quietly down the hallways, outside, and into the new safe room.

"Eight minutes and 30 seconds to get 940 students, all the teachers and staff, and everyone else in the building got out," said Arlington Elementary School Principal Gina Gore.

The safe room is reinforced to withstand 250 mile per hour winds.

"It's set up for a category five tornado," said Arlington Fire Chief David Franks.

During school hours, it's primary focus is to keep kids safe during a tornado.

"I think, although the school is safe, it's great for them to have the opportunity to go someplace safer if time allows," said parent Terry Louderback.

At other times, it will serve as a community safe room for many residents in Arlington.

"When the severe weather sirens are going off, they've got the opportunity to get over here," said Chief Franks.

The safe room was a $1.6 million project paid by a FEMA grant and local funding.

Shelby County School officials say it is the first of its kind on any SCS campus.

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