PEVELY, Mo. — In Becky Trentmann’s fourth grade classroom at Pevely Elementary, students are focused on learning. As a teacher, safety is always on Trentmann’s mind.

“Yes, we're safe. We've built fences and gates, but there's nothing like real, solid walls to keep our students safe,” Trentmann said.

Her classroom is in a trailer outside of the main building. It is colder in the winter and hotter in the summer. In a storm, it is not as sturdy.

“It is concerning as a teacher when bad weather is coming in,” Trentmann said.

Soon, her classroom and the five others in trailers will be part of a new addition, which will also double as a storm shelter.

The Dunklin School District broke ground on the addition this week. It will be built to resist winds of up to 250 mph. It will also expand the cafeteria and add more learning space. 

The school district raised most of the money through a bond issue and $1.4 million came from FEMA funds.

“If a storm comes, you can fit all of the children in the rooms,” said Dunklin School Board President Dawn Warner.

The addition is scheduled to be completed by the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

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