The next school that’s built in Illinois may be the safest school in the state. The Illinois House has passed a bill requiring that new school construction conform to the International Code Council and include a storm shelter. Sponsoring State Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg) represents an area that knows what can happen.
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“Thank goodness when Harrisburg was hit, it was early in the morning before school (hours), and Washington and Gifford were hit on a Sunday, so they weren’t in school.” Harrisburg was a victim of a tornado in 2012; Washington and Gifford were among the communities hit last year. Phelps stressed his bill only addresses school construction in the future; nobody is required to retrofit.