FEMA Grants Help Kansas City College Add Tornado-Safe Buildings

Curt Grandia | September 28, 2010

Kansas City, Mo. – Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants totaling $10.7 million are helping five Metropolitan Community College (MCC) campuses add tornado safe structures. Currently under construction at MCC’s five main campuses, the projects are expected to complete by spring 2008. J.E. Dunn Construction in Kansas City is providing construction services. The architect is Gould Evans.

The low-profile buildings range from 8,000 to 47,000 square feet and are designed to withstand F5 tornadic winds of 250 miles per hour. The structures are steel and concrete and sized to accommodate the entire student body on campus at any given time.

In addition to providing temporary shelter in the event of extreme weather, the structures are meant to serve as multipurpose areas for year-round use by the college community. Two of the buildings are earth-contact, tucking into their respective landscapes and effectively utilizing outdoor areas for community gatherings.

The Penn Valley facility will utilize a green roof and green space to become an inviting outdoor gathering area for community and students. Maple Woods will blend into a park-like setting and serve as a backdrop for a new terraced outdoor amphitheater. The other campuses involved are Blue River, Business & Technology, and Longview.