A branch of Prairie Landworks

A city park now provides the community with a storm shelter that meets EF5 Tornado Design Standards as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.


In 2014, the City of Moundridge was seeking FEMA assistance for a public multiuse storm shelter to be built at a local park. Aware of the Prairie Landworks Inc. team’s considerable experience constructing storm and blast-rated facilities in Kansas, the city asked PLI to assist with its FEMA grant application. PLI utilized its expertise to help the City of Moundridge submit a two-phase grant proposal to FEMA through the Kansas Department of Emergency Management’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which administers federal funding for these types of public projects.

The PLI staff prepared the Phase 1 grant application for the design and engineering of the project, submitting it in the spring of 2014. This first phase was approved the following November, and our teams launched into design mode while simultaneously working on the Phase 2 application for construction funding.

Phase 1 of the project included a thorough siting study, architectural and engineering design, project budgeting and shelter operations plan development. The project team evaluated and measured every aspect of the site and proposed structure against federal standards.

PLI joined forces with several superb contractors throughout this phase including 3Ten Studio for the architectural design, MKEC for structural engineering and Basis Consulting Engineers for mechanical and electrical engineering. Prairie Landworks handled the surveying and civil engineering aspects.

Once Phase 1 work was completed, PLI compiled the Phase 2 grant application for construction of the project. The design drawings along with site and construction budget information were submitted and approved in 2015. Prairie Landworks received a green light to kick off actual construction efforts in November of that year.

Our team landed on a structural masonry building envelope with a hollow-core slab roof and a composite-reinforced concrete topping slab. The 12-inch-thick masonry walls were fully grouted and heavily reinforced, integrally tied to the composite roof structure to withstand the EF5 storm requirements. Even with the functional intent of the 864-square-foot facility, the design team was able to create an aesthetically pleasing structure that blends well into Black Kettle Park and will provide Moundridge residents a storm shelter and multiuse structure for generations to come.

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