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Topeka District Unveils First of 11 New Emergency Shelters

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Topeka school district has unveiled the first of 11 emergency shelters that are being constructed with money from a bond issue. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Whitson Elementary had a celebration Wednesday for the new gymnasium, where students can take shelter during extreme weather. In past years, students would have sought shelter in the hallways of their school. The new shelters are being built using Federal Emergency Management Agency guidelines for storm protection. In April 2014, voters approved $143 million in bonds to pay for projects that included school safety improvements, Chromebook computer purchases and a new career center. Whitson Elementary principal Keelin Pierce says she hopes her school will never need to use the gym as shelter, but knowing it is there offers peace of mind.

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