Proj Overview


School districts in Missouri have been adding hardened rooms to their schools since 2011, when a tornado in Joplin left a path of destruction and killed 161 people. Hundreds of storm shelters, some built with federal grant money and most with precast concrete construction, have filled the need across the region.

In Blue Springs, Mo., three elementary schools (Daniel Young Elementary, William Bryant Elementary, and William Yates Elementary) have added gymnasiums that provide an area to shelter in place.

Read more about this project in the Fall 2022 issue of Ascent.


Using a total–precast concrete solution enhanced the construction schedule and enabled the interior fit out to be completed by the fall of 2020. The precast concrete was installed quickly to minimize the impact to the schools while in session.


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Project Team


Hollis + Miller Architects


Newkirk Novak Construction Partners


Blue Springs R-IV School District


Hollis + Miller Architects

Precast Concrete Producer

Coreslab Structures (MISSOURI)

Key Project Attributes

  • The district bundled the three schools (Daniel Young Elementary, William Bryant Elementary, and William Yates Elementary) to gain some economies of scale for bidding the projects, manufacturing the precast concrete, and constructing them in a timely fashion.
  • safe zones double as gyms, and serve after-school programs, so they all have exterior doors for late dismissal. Doors that meet FEMA requirements are heavy and cumbersome, so their use is minimized.
  • The three elementary school additions were designed and built concurrently, and they all feature thin brick embedded in precast concrete wall panels, but each has its own identity and a different façade.

Project/Precast Scope

  • Coreslab manufactured a heftier “FEMA double tee” for the three schools. Their designation signifies a deeper stem and thicker flange than a typical double tee.
  • Coreslab “FEMA” tees (38 + 4, 10 × 63 ft), 3-3-10 insulated wall panels, 10 × 33 ft with cast-in thin brick
  • Tying the precast concrete roof to the precast concrete walls is achieved through tube steel over the top of the double-tee stem that is pocketed in the wall panel. This hold-down connection is vital to resist the uplift pressure on the double tees during a storm event.