Burlington Community School District: FEMA Storm Shelter / Fitness Addition

Burlington, IA

The Burlington Community School District hired Klingner & Associates, P.C. to design a FEMA compliant Safe Room at Burlington High School.

Doubling as a wrestling / fitness room, this addition is accessed from a new vestibule and hallway located at the northeast corner of the existing gymnasium, as well as an outdoor egress point along the north wall. Approximately 1,300 individuals can shelter in this 9,728 SF space, which also includes a protected generator room, restroom facilities, and storage. A flat roof near existing second floor height was designed to facilitate a future second story expansion.

FEMA 361 compliant doors, roofing, and materials are utilized to ensure the safety of occupants. The structural design features exterior load bearing masonry walls, interior steel frames, and precast hollow core roof panels with concrete topping slab. A deep foundation using concrete drilled piers was required to support the exterior walls and interior columns. Once design calculations were complete, an internal peer review was completed by a licensed engineer who had not previously worked on the project to verify that the design conformed to the requirements of a FEMA Tornado Safe Room per Section 3.8.3 of “Design and Construction Guidance for Community Safe Room.”

This project was funded by State and Federal FEMA funding, as well as local Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) funds.