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Where Nixa Residents Can Seek Shelter During Severe Weather

Zac Rantz
Nixa Public Schools

Amid severe weather season and as officials continue work on three safe rooms, Nixa Public Schools is reminding citizens of available tornado shelter locations.

The district said its high school will no longer be opened during tornado warnings as the FEMA safe room there won’t be operational until later this spring. Families should instead go to Mathews Elementary’s FEMA safe room or Inman Intermediate's FEMA safe room. Both of these rooms will be open any time there is a tornado warning, and even during tornado watches. They can hold 1,200 people, apiece.

As for Nixa Junior High, it will only be opened for tornado warnings until its FEMA safe room is operational later this spring. At that point the community will be able to use the safe room. Both the high school and junior high safe rooms can hold up to 2,200 people, according to district spokesman Zac Rantz.

Another safe room, at John Thomas School of Discovery, is also under construction. The 500 capacity space is currently slated to be used just for school students and personnel.

The five facilities have been funded through grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which Rantz says has accounted for over $7 million in federal aid. The district pays approximately 25 percent of the costs.

In addition, the district is seeking volunteers at any time of day to open and welcome the community to the safe rooms during tornado watches.  No experience necessary.  Interested person can contact Zac Rantz at 417-449-3295 or

Scott joined KSMU in November 2012. He had previously served five years as news director for KETR-FM, the public radio station in Commerce, Texas. A graduate of Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Scott enjoys producing human-interest stories, among other pieces that educate and engage the community. When not at work, he’s often taking part in outdoor activities, exploring new areas and restaurants, or staying up-to-date with the latest news and information. Scott was born and raised in Shenandoah, Iowa.