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[bitsontherun WBSByMcK]

SMITHVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)-The Smithville School constructed a new gymnasium that will also serve as a storm shelter in the event of another natural disaster.

It’s been two years since the school’s basketball team has played a home game on their campus. The multi-purpose facility will host student assemblies, meetings and special events but most importantly, it’ll be a safe haven if an EF-5 tornado ever returns to the area.

“It’s the first of its kind in the state of Mississippi but it serves as a storm shelter. It’s designed to withstand winds that equal an EF-5 tornado what we had here two years ago. So we’re very excited about being able to have that for our students and staff,” says Principal Chad O’Brien.

The gymnasium is still under construction but officials expect it to be completed in time for basketball season.

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