New Fairborn primary school will have largest tornado shelter in Ohio

Local News

FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) – Fairborn City Schools will soon have the largest tornado shelter in the state. 

A new state law is requiring all schools that open after September 2019 to have storm shelters– but the design for this one is a little different.

Because a bond passed in 2016, voters in Fairborn are now seeing the walls of their primary school go up. If you look closer at the walls, you’ll see how thick they are. 

The tornado shelter will not be below ground. Instead, it will house the main gym, which can hold more than 1200 students and staff.  

The walls are three times thicker than your average wall and will sustain 250 mph winds. 

The ceiling will be made of concrete to prevent any lifting should a tornado come through the area. 

“Our architects designed it to where we will be able to get the entire school in there along with with staff when we need to. Hopefully we will not need to,” said Fairborn Superintendent Gene Lolli. 

Superintendent Lolli says after seeing tornadoes rip through the country, he thinks this investment is one the community should be proud of. Lolli says there was no way the original 60+ year old primary building could withstand severe weather. 

“This has been a long time coming for this community. When the walls started going up, it has drawn a lot of attention and excitement for the community,” said Lolli. 

The gym/shelter will also have restrooms if anyone has to stay for a longer period of time. 

When the new intermediate school is built, that building will also have a state-of-the-art shelter.

The Primary School should be ready by summer of 2020. 

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