A new shelter at the State Fairgrounds is expected to be a prototype for emergency shelters across the country. State Fair Manager Gary Slater says they’d planned to build a bathhouse at the campground and were asked by the Emergency Management Division to include the shelter.It is a hardened facility that will withstand tornadoes and other storms. The building was designed by Iowa State University architecture students, and Slater says that design has held up under the scrutiny of professional architects. He says the building was put up Friday.He says it’s shaped like a football and is made of pre-cast concrete panels that were welded together. The shelter will hold 400 people, not enough for everyone who attends the fair during its height, but he says it’s enough for everyday operations.He says they host a lot of off-season events and have camping all year long, and the shelter will provide adequate protection for those people. Slater says the Emergency Management Department will show the shelter off whenever there’s a chance.He says they’ll probably give a lot of tours to people from other states, as the building is a prototype. Slater says the State Fair kick in 200-thousand dollars for the bathhouse portion of the building and a 600-thousand-dollar federal grant paid for the shelter area.
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