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State News

New central Illinois elementary school has 10 safe rooms

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A new elementary school in central Illinois has safe rooms to protect students.

Dennis Young is CEO of Ittner Architects, which designed the new Middletown Prairie Elementary School in Mahomet. The school has ten safe rooms disguised as backpack cubbies or bathrooms. The safe rooms are located between every two classrooms.

Young says the rooms can protect students from severe weather or an armed intruder. He says having multiple rooms is more comfortable for younger students instead of the unfamiliar gym or auditorium. The rooms have concrete walls reinforced with metal rods. The doors are high-impact resistant metal and have three locks.

State legislation was passed in January requiring any future schools to be built with adequate safe rooms or storm shelters.