The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

May 15, 2013

Kids to be protected by 10-ton slabs of cement

ELDON — One tornado in the district was enough to convince school board members that children required further defense against bad weather.

"It was 12 years ago that a tornado struck our district [in Agency], killing two people," said Joel Pedersen, superintendent of the Cardinal school district.

If a tornado had struck Cardinal High School, students and staff could have gone to the basement; the locker rooms, for example, are underground and would provide protection from bad weather, Pedersen said. But the elementary school has nothing to act as a shield. Pedersen said he and other stakeholders in the community worried about the "what if" scenario.

This week, contractors began construction of the district's "saferoom." Les Shepherd, the Cardinal maintenance staffer helping to oversee the project, said a crane is lowering 20,000 pound panels into place. Cedar Valley Steel then sets the panels, which are a foot thick, into steel pieces, which are then welded to create a frame. Shepherd said there are 24 of those 10-ton panels. Once they form the walls, crews will lay forms and supports on top of them. They'll then pour a 10-inch thick concrete roof onto the room, making it one solid cube. There will be a generator inside, as well as a list of items required to be kept in the shelter. The general contractor, Bi-State Contracting, is known to Ottumwans as the builder of the new Liberty school on the south side.

"[This project] probably started in the fall of 2010," said the superintendent. "I found out there was some funding for schools for saferooms that would protect students and staff. It was a long process working with Homeland Security and FEMA. We became part of the Wapello County Hazard Mitigation Plan. In November of 2012, we were awarded $550,000. That’ll be about 50 percent of the cost."

Text Only
Local News
  • Calendar Groups wanting to be included in the Calendar must submit the item every time the group meets, at least three days in advance of the meeting.Send information to Calendar, Newsroom, Ottumwa Courier, 213 E. Second St., Ottumwa 52501 or send email to ne

    July 26, 2014

  • Alternate juror could not have convicted Techel based on evidence DAVENPORT — An alternate juror who was dismissed before Seth Techel, 23, of Agency was convicted of killing his wife and the non-consensual termination of a human pregnancy says the verdict could have been different if she had been in deliberations.D

    July 25, 2014

  • Overcome testing fear, get a good job OTTUMWA — It's not who you know, it's what you know. That's what City leaders say about getting a good paying job in Ottumwa. "It seems like in the last year we've had a real reduction in the number of individuals who've applied," said Joni Keith, hu

    July 25, 2014

  • Water Pollution Control Facility gets OK to upgrade OTTUMWA — An emergency Ottumwa City Council meeting resulted in spending $140,583 for the Water Pollution Control Facility. Friday afternoon, council members listened intently as Ottumwa Water Pollution Control Facility Superintendent Kam Reeves told

    July 25, 2014

  • 0724 OTT Tehel mug -T -M Resolution — Techel verdict reached

    DAVENPORT — The father of a slain Wapello County woman said he began to heal as soon as he heard the guilty verdict today. The jury unanimously pronounced Seth Techel, 23, guilty on charges of first-degree murder and non-consensual termination of a h

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Quincy Ave. project starts Aug. 4 OTTUMWA — Updates on the Quincy Avenue project was given to residents and businesses residing between Albia Road and Hwy. 34 on Thursday night at Ottumwa City Hall. About a dozen people attended the meeting where City Engineer Dan Sturm gave an updat

    July 25, 2014

  • Silence continues on fatal shooting OTTUMWA — Law enforcement is exercising its right to remain silent about a shooting death that occurred south of town this week. The Wapello County Sheriff's Office, which had responded to the shooting, said most information on the case would now com

    July 25, 2014

  • 0726 OTT cedar creek Gone in a flash

    BLOOMFIELD — Bob Parker got about as close to lightning as you can Friday morning, and came out of it without injury. A line of thunderstorms started moving through southeast Iowa in the early morning hours. Parker was heading to work at about 7 a.m.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0726 OTT Garden Bites III Color Photo -T Garden Bites sees growth BLOOMFIELD — Nearly one month ago, families gathered at Pioneer Ridge Nature Center to plant various vegetables to harvest and eat on Thursday at Garden Bites. The program allows families to get their hands a bit dirty at Pioneer Ridge and plant food

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0725 OTT Riverfront design A new outlook on Ottumwa OTTUMWA — A "River Renaissance" is brewing in Wapello County. Planners working for Christian Rushing Studio from Tennessee took the public's ideas, and gave them life via maps, numerical projections and artists' renderings. "Hold onto your seats; you

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook