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Hickory Hills adds tornado shelter

June 21, 2012
Alissa Klenk - Reporter , Dysart Reporter

Hickory Hills Park added a FEMA approved tornado safe room and a new playground intended for campers. Both projects have been a long time coming.

"It's been a long battle, but now it's finally done," stated Al Finke, Park Ranger about the tornado safe room project, which has been in the process for three years.

The multipurpose tornado safe structure also houses restrooms with a shower house for campers. The safe room was built by Kidder Construction Inc. out of Waterloo, IA. Located within the camping area at the park, it will provide shelter for up to 300 people during severe storms. The building is constructed of 12" concrete walls and ceiling and is built to withstand a 250 mph. wind speed (3-second gust).

Article Photos

Hickory Hill Park now has a FEMA-approved tornado safe room to go along with its new playground. The features were a long time in the making, with the funding just recently becoming available to complete both projects. At top, the tornado safe room is a building with 12” concrete walls and ceiling, built to withstand a 250 mph wind gust. Above, the new playground equipment, which is now open for use, will allow campers who have small children to help keep them entertained on visits to the park.

The playground has been an ongoing project also. "It's a Miracle Brand play set. We bought it a couple years ago and didn't have the funding for the sand and everything surrounding," said Finke.

Finke expressed his sincere gratitude to Aspro, Inc. out of Waterloo for donating 170 tons of sand for the playground. The $10,400 project was also made possible by camp hosts, Bruce Theesfeld and Joyce Wardall, who donated two play diggers.

The playground is intended by campers with small children to use while they are camping. The playground closes down at 9 p.m. each evening. The park expects a busy season and this new addition will be sure to satisfy.

 
 

 

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