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Waldrop-Grimes Team finishes Tornado Proof Elementary School

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The weather in Central Texas is always unpredictable, and often violent. The residents of Comanche, Texas found this out firsthand, when a Tornado with several hundred mile an hour winds set down near their town.

When the school board, lead by Superintendent Rick Howard, start looking at an Elementary school expansion, safety was on his mind.

In 2015, Waldrop Construction and Grimes Architect were selected as a Project Team to design and construct the first Tornado-proof project of its kind in Central Texas. Enlisting the services of the Fibrebond company out of Louisianna, Waldrop and Grimes developed a plan for a building that provided an unparallelled level of proection. The walls, floors, and ceiling of the entire school would be built from solid concrete. However, the appearance, both inside and outside, would look like a normal school building.

Part of the additional cost for this unusual design, would be offset by the much faster production schedule by using "Pre-cast" classrooms. Over 50 individual modular classrooms were built in a factory in Lousianna, then transported to Comanche and set in place. These buildings were delivered "ready to paint", and just needed a Roof and Brick on the outside to have them ready for school.

The project was finished in a shorter timeframe than conventional construction, and most importantly, came with a bonus of a very economical pricetag.

Many popular Texas School Architects are designing schools at $220 plus per square foot, that only provide protection up to 100 mph winds.

Waldrop and Grimes were able to provide a building at same level of quality for under $200 per foot.

The big difference is, when bad weather comes to Comanche, they know that their children will be safe.

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