Construction begins on Oktibbeha’s first storm shelter

Oktibbeha County’s first community safe room will be located at 607 Lynn Lane, at the intersection of Lynn Lane and Industrial Road. (Photo by Ryan Phillips, SDN)

Faith Lifer
Staff Writer

As construction begins for Oktibbeha County’s first community safe room, the county hopes to finish the project by spring 2019.

The property for the shelter is located at 607 Lynn Lane, at the intersection of Lynn Lane and Industrial Road.

According to the county, underground utilities construction has officially begun for the project.

The contractor for the project is Worsham Brothers Construction of Corinth, Mississippi.

The community room is set to FEMA 361 standards, able to withstand winds up to 250 mph.

According to the Enhanced Fujita Scale, used by the National Weather Service, only the most severe tornado, a level 5 tornado, reaches wind speeds over 200 mph.

The community room will be a dome with 7,910 square feet of usable space, able to hold 1,600 people.

Oktibbeha County EMA Director Kristen Campanella believes the community room will benefit the county, because citizens will know there is protection during a severe storm watch or warning.

Campanella said the community room will be a multi-use building, but its uses will not be determined until a future date.

The Board of Supervisors will ultimately make that decision.

County President and District 2 Supervisor Orlando Trainer has high hopes for the possibilities of the community room.

“I really think the possibilities are unlimited,” Trainer said. “It will be a county building.”

Although Trainer knows a disaster would take priority, he believes the structure could also be used for community events.

“Of course it will be an emergency shelter, but certainly it can be used for other purposes that won’t conflict with the grant,” Trainer said.

In terms of potential disasters that may occur, Trainer thinks the community room will be vital.

“There are quite a few citizens who congregate in that area,” Trainer said. “It will probably be utilized more than people think at this time.”

“I’m looking to forward to the grand opening,” Trainer concluded.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $2,047,194, and FEMA is funding $1,790,501 of that total estimate.