"The capacity of this safe room is 1,615 people which pretty much covers the City of Jasper," says Rick Stark, Jasper Superintendent.
The project was initiated three years ago and construction began on the building last Spring. Teachers say before the new addition, they stayed in classrooms when weather conditions became severe.
"Earlier this year, we had straight line winds that came through and it kind of tore the roof off of one of the buildings downtown. We stayed there until the storm settled," says Kerri Beier, Teacher.
The safe room doesn't just provide a safe place for students and the community, it has other advantages like doubling as a cafeteria and gym.
"We also wanted to close up our campus a bit, connect our campus better to where our elementary and our high school is connected to the FEMA building," says Stark.
Stark says part of their goal in adding the new space was to get rid of several trailers on campus by turning the old cafeteria into new classrooms.
"Elementary art room, elementary music room, couple of special ed classrooms, and a small office area. Once that's done, three more trailers are going to be gone," says Stark.
The addition also brought new locker rooms, a weight room, and kitchen area. With all the district's added features, the new safe room still serves one common purpose.
"This is an opportunity for the community to come and have a place to know they are going to be safe," says Beier.
The project cost about $2.5 million and FEMA funded about $1.1 million of that. The superintendent says they still have minor things to add like padding and a scoreboard for the gym.