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      Cardinal School District proactively keeps students safe in case of severe weather

      By October, Cardinal Elementary School will hopefully have a new safe room, which will be used to house students in case of severe weather or an emergency.

      Right now, there is no designated place for the elementary students to go in case of a tornado, but the safe room will be able to withstand F-5 winds.

      The space will also double up as a cafeteria during regular school hours, which will free up the school's gym from hosting lunch.

      Superintendent Joel Pedersen said this is a proactive step to keep kids safe at school.

      "We worked with our folks in Des Moines and also FEMA, they've been really helpful," Pedersen said. "We're really glad to be able to provide a safe place for, especially our little guys, our little learners, in the district and if in the case be, we'll have a safe place, especially out here in a rural setting, these things can happen and we want to be prepared."

      At Tuesday's meeting, the Cardinal School Board will hopefully approve bids for the plan and construction will begin shortly.

      Once the safe room is built, Pedersen said there are FEMA requirements the district will continue to follow regarding a generator, utilizing safety kits and making sure students are involved in drills using the space.