Merigold mayor pleased with building of large capacity storm shelter
by Courtney Stevens
Jun 06, 2013 | 2674 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Under supervisor Michael Harris, workers of Roy Collins Construction prepare to pour 70 percent of concrete this week to create tilt up concrete panels.
Under supervisor Michael Harris, workers of Roy Collins Construction prepare to pour 70 percent of concrete this week to create tilt up concrete panels.
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Merigold officials are proud to announce the construction of a storm shelter located next to Hayes Cooper Center.

"It is a tremendous safety feature for the town," said mayor of Merigold, Andrew Westerfield.

The storm shelter will have a capacity of 800-900 people and will be completed by December of this year.

The shelter will be not only for the citizens of Merigold but also anyone that can reach it in time.

"Being close to the school is a great location," said Westerfield.

With the recent Oklahoma tragedies due to tornadoes, it is evident that storm shelters can save lives.

"This is something we have been trying to get for quite a while," said Westerfield.

With Mississippi Severe Weather Alerts in place to warn citizens to seek shelter during severe storms, this storm shelter will provide more advanced cover than homes.

There are plans to begin including sirens throughout the county to warn citizens to take cover sooner.

"The county does an incredible job of alerting citizens (in times of trouble) and hopefully we won't have to utilize this shelter.

“We were fortunate to be able to put this together," said Westerfield.

Roy Collins Construction began the process of building the structure roughly two months ago.

The storm shelter will be a freestanding structure with 8-inch thick concrete tilt up panels.

"We are one of the very few companies that uses the tilt-up panels," said Chris Collins of Roy Collins Construction.

Once poured, these panels will be lifted by a crane and have the ability to withstand over 250 mile an hour winds.

"It's certainly timely, with all that has happened in Oklahoma recently. It's great this is next to an elementary school," said Collins.

While it is hopeful this new storm shelter will not have to be utilized, it is comforting for community members to know it is available.