Griffin Park Storm Shelter Open
The City of Pierre now has a designated public storm shelter.
The shelter, located at 703 S. Washington Ave. near the tennis courts in Griffin Park, is open just in time for the spring storm season. The 2,400 square foot structure is large enough to protect up to 400 people and built to withstand 200 mph winds.
“This is the City’s first fully protected shelter in the park system,” said Tom Farnsworth, Parks and Recreation Director. “It’s there to protect residents of Pierre, park campers, and other park users.”
There are about 1,800 people living within about a half a mile of the shelter and each summer the Griffin Park campground hosts an average of one-thousand camping units.
“We have some remote systems in place to unlock the community room, the largest space in the shelter, in the event of a storm,” said Farnsworth. “The bathrooms and lobby are also designed to sustain the winds and can be used for shelter.”
The $800,000 project was made possible by grants from the South Dakota Office of Emergency Management, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and funding from the City of Pierre.
Regardless of weather, the facility serves as a comfort station to campers and park users, and provides additional public use space in Pierre.
A public open house will be scheduled at a later date.