The Conway School District confirmed the completion on its eight safe rooms Wednesday in a news release.
Assistant Superintendent Carroll Bishop previously told the Log Cabin Democrat the project came to around $10 million, $2 million per each.
The district is now equipped with a total of 11 safe rooms — three were already built at Ida Burns Elementary, Ruth Doyle Middle School and Simon Middle School.
“We are proud that our school board has made this a priority-giving us one more way to maintain a safe and caring environment for our students while they are in our care,” Superintendent Greg Murry said in the release.
If inclement weather hits during the school day — 7:30 a.m.-4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday — students are the first priority but if it occurs outside of school hours, the rooms will be available for the public’s use.
According to the release, the shelters are wired in with the city’s severe weather alert system.
“When the sirens go off for a Tornado Warning, the doors open automatically for community members to go inside,” the release reads. “During storm season, the doors will be checked weekly to make sure the automatic openers are working properly.”
After warnings expire, the doors will automatically close.
Safe room rules are also posted at each site.
Murry said it is their “sincere hope” that they don’t have to use the shelters for a severe weather event but if they do, they know that students and the community will have a safe place to go.
The district advised those who plan to use the shelters for possible future use, to visit the sites prior outside of school hours.
Bishop told the LCD in January that the administration is also looking at putting in safe rooms at the middle schools, which will be built like the others but bigger to accommodate more students, which was confirmed through district officials who said in the news release that the school board plans to discuss the possible additions to Bob and Betty Courtway Middle School and Carl Stuart Middle School during the next school year.
Storm Shelter locations:
• Carolyn Lewis Elementary School at 1805 Old Military Road.
• Ida Burns Elementary School at 1201 South Donaghey Ave.
• Ruth Doyle Middle School at 800 Padgett Road.
• Simon Middle School at 1601 Siebenmorgan Road.
• Ellen Smith Elementary School at 1601 South Donaghey Ave.
• Florence Mattison Elementary School at 2001 Florence Mattison Road.
• Jim Stone Elementary School at 4255 College Ave.
• Julia Lee Moore Elementary School at 1301 Country Club Road
• Marguerite Vann Elementary School at 2845 Carl Stuart Road
• Theodore Jones Elementary School at 1800 Freyaldenhoven Lane
• Woodrow Cummins Elementary School at 1440 Padgett Road.