Tornado Resistant Shelters approved for New Schools

By WEEK Reporter

May 14, 2014 Updated May 14, 2014 at 10:49 AM CDT

The Illinois Senate Committee on Education has approved a bill to
create tornado resistant shelters in all new schools.

The bill is sponsored by Peoria Senator Dave Koehler and it's a reaction to the November 17 tornadoes which swept though central Illinois.

The bill would require new school construction to have a shelter able to withstand an EF-4 tornado.

"We're not talking about constructing something totally different. We're talking about within the confines of what's normally designed" said Senator Koehler.

"A safe room in this construct will be any space within the school footprint that can accommodate all the people who are going to be occupying the building" said Mike Wildinger of American Institute of Architects.

The measure passed on a 12-2 vote with Senators Jason Barickman and Karen McConnaughay voting against.