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How Older School Prepares for the Worst

May 27, 2014, 6:06 PM by Brady Mallory

How Older School Prepares for the Worst

Older schools have years of history and are often a source of pride in KELOLAND communities.  However, many of them may not have come with the same safety systems that newer buildings are equipped with.

Following a devastating loss in Hoven, South Dakota, KELOLAND News wanted to see how other similar schools prepare for the worst.  Luverne School District Superintendent Gary Fisher does not look at the Luverne High School and Middle School as just a building.

"It's like suiting up a student athlete, and you put kind of an old grubby uniform on them, and then sent them out to feel good and have pride in the community.  That's kind of tough," Fisher said.

Fisher, who has been with the district for more than 20 years, said it has taken steps to modernize the facility, built in 1956.

"If you look at our facility, it doesn't look like a mid-50s," Fisher said.

Years ago, school leaders put in smoke detector and sprinkler systems all throughout the building.  Fisher hopes these simple, yet effective updates, keep it safe from a fire.

"When you lose a school, you lose a vital part of the community," Fisher said.

Fisher said the fire alarms are coded for different parts of the building, meaning they sound different, depending on which one goes off.  This helps them know which part of the school is on fire, should the situation arise. 

"In this hallway, it'll be two beeps, a pause, and another beep," Fisher said.

This school may have a lot of history, but Fisher says the district has worked hard to keep it updated, so it will have a future.

"People in the community, when they come into the school, they always marvel at how well the building has been kept up," Fisher said.

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