Herald JournalWinsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Aug. 26, 2002

LP board: school is not a shelter

By Julie Yurek

The Lester Prairie School is not a storm shelter, according to the school board.

It is, however, a facility that would provide support after the fact if a disaster hit the city, the board agreed at last Monday's meeting.

Superintendent James Redfield was asked by a few people if the school can be opened up for those residents who do not have adequate shelter from a storm or tornado, he said.

Board member Chester Hoernemann thought it was not a good idea to open the school up as a shelter because of liability, he said.

"What if someone got hurt in here?" he asked.

It would also be hard to keep track of the people in the school, Redfield said.

If something happened to the school with residents inside, it would be hard to know who was all inside, Redfield said.

"We would have to staff a person at the school all the time in case it needed to be opened up," said board member Fred Blaser.

"The police don't have time to open the doors and make sure people stay in designated areas," Blaser said.

If residents of the trailer court are concerned about storm shelter, it's the responsibility of the trailer court owner to have shelter, Blaser said.

A storm shelter is something to think about in a joint use facility, Hoernemann said. Board member Bob Carlson and elementary principal Pam Lukens agreed.

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