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Shelter at MEC opens

Students and staff at Mustang Education Center will have more peace of mind this storm season with the completion of a new storm shelter. The shelter, constructed at the end of one wing of the building holds 250 people and was constructed to FEMA codes. Heath Tate with MA+ Architecture designed the building, which boasts restrooms, back-up power and passive ventilation.

Principal Sondra Bivens is thrilled.

"What a comfort to know the students and staff have a safe place to shelter if a tornado approaches our area," she said.

When not being used as a shelter, the room, with carpet and a whimsical polka dot paint scheme, serves as a multi-purpose room for indoor pre-k recess, meetings, professional development activities and testing sessions for the PASS students. PASS, or Partnership for Academic Student Success, is the district's alternative education program for high school students who are not being successful in a traditional classroom.

"This shelter is such a beautiful addition to MEC," Bivens said. "It is pretty and inviting. It's also much bigger than I expected. The entire population of students and staff can fit comfortably in the room."

The storm shelter was made possible by the 2014 bond issue.

MEC was originally a nursing facility. Mustang Public Schools purchased the building from HUD for $10 around 2002. It was the first building renovated with MAPS for Kids funds. The 26,000 square foot facility made it possible for the district to open a pre-kindergarten program and provide a permanent home for PASS.
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