Holden Middle School buys large shelters, can withstand EF5 tornado and gunfire from assault rifles

A small Missouri town of just over 2,000 people is making history. 
 
It's the first school district in the country to invest in a cutting-edge protective shelter. It's a design made in Harrisonville, Mo., at a business only a few years old called Staying Home Corporation. 
 
Company president Mike Vogt said Holden Middle School bought ten of the larger shelters that can hold from 25-30 students. 9 of them will go in at the Middle School and the one other one will be installed in an early childhood education center.
 
"This is possibly an answer that people have been looking for because this is the first answer that allows students protection without leaving the classroom setting," said Vogt.
 
The school's superintendent, Wade Schroeder said with the shelters, and classrooms that are not on exterior walls, the entire school would have shelter in the event of severe weather. 
 
They are 12 feet long and are retractable. Two lever arms open it with a tug from two people which takes about three seconds. It then collapses to less than 20 inches deep. 
 
Vogt said they are tested to withstand an EF5 tornado and gunfire from assault rifles but they are also made from a U.S. military grade steel. They are bullet proof to most assault riffles.
 
"This had been a two year process for us since the tragedy at Sandy Hook," Vogt said.
 
Now Holden Middle School is setting a "new normal" for the rest of the country. The shelters are being built in classrooms and other areas in the school where the most students are like the music room.
 
The shelters are constructed on site. Builders put together the large pieces of metal with bolts. The door weighs more than 350 pounds and the whole shelter weighs 4,200 pounds. 
 
Vogt told 41 Action News that the shelters are available in smaller sizes for residential homes that cost approximately $4,500. 
 
The larger shelters cost between $12,000 and $14,000. 
 
"It's not a case of a wealthy school district or a single individual providing the means to purchase these. It was a town getting together and realizing that protecting their students was a priority," said Vogt.
 
Holden School Superintendent Wade Schroeder said the town approved a no tax bond issue to pay for the shelters. Of the $2 million dollars, approximately $120,000 went toward the shelters.
 
"We try and stay ahead of the curve as much as we can, we can always do more," Schroeder said.
 
School will be back in session come August.
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