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story.lead_photo.caption RACHEL DICKERSON/MCDONALD COUNTY PRESS School, city and project officials take part in a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Noel Primary School safe room on Sept. 5.

Noel Primary students watched last week as officials broke ground for the new safe room.

All of the students in the building were seated on the grass outside a fenced-in area where the groundbreaking took place. Superintendent Mark Stanton and Jessica Struckhoff of Paragon, the architect for the project, addressed the group, which also included several adult community members.

Struckhoff said the project includes a 4,900 square-foot safe room that will be used as a multipurpose space and gym during daytime hours. The project also includes classroom space with movable walls that can be used as one, two, three or four classrooms. The classroom space includes whimsical elements such as exposed structural columns and cross-bracing that mimics trees and light fixtures that snake down the hallway, she said. Also, the collaboration spaces in the classrooms are designed in house silhouettes. The entire project is an 11,500 square-foot addition, she said.

Stanton said, "I'm very excited for the Noel community with the addition of the tornado safe room. I'm excited for our teachers with the additional classroom space. I appreciate the support of the school board and the community of Noel."

He also noted the school district is using cash savings on the project, as opposed to a bond issue or a loan. The project is expected to be completed in August 2020.

Noel Primary Principal Deborah Pearson said, "We're beyond ecstatic. We've been here since 2008, and we always need more room. So having more classrooms and a safe room to go to when the weather is bad ... we feel blessed."

She added she appreciates the district's leadership for making the project happen.

General News on 09/12/2019

Print Headline: Noel Primary Breaks Ground On Safe Room

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