BCF installs storm shelters

BCF above ground storm shelter placed next to dorm housing.

In response to recent severe weather, the administration of The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville made faculty, staff, and student safety a top priority by installing five storm shelters on the college campus. The storm shelters were unanimously approved by the BCF Board of Trustees which met in January. “I am so thankful that our trustees approved the expenditure of the funds necessary for the purchase of this extra protection for our students, faculty and staff,” stated BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen. “While we cannot control the weather, we can provide the highest level of safety available for our BCF family.”

With assistance from local law enforcement, minimizing any negative traffic flow, and extraordinary coverage from the local news media, five storm shelters arrived safely to the BCF campus on Thursday, April 6.  Four of them were placed above the ground with each having varying sizes and capacities relative to the number of people designated for each shelter. The shelter with the largest capacity has been designated for dorm residents, faculty and staff, while smaller units were placed in married student housing and in Heritage Village accommodating smaller numbers. One of the five shelters was placed underground. Each shelter is rated to withstand 400 mile-per-hour winds and 200 mile-per-hour projectiles making the shelters capable of protecting students from devastating winds and storms or workplace violence.

BCF shelter being lifted by the crane onto the 18-inch-deep concrete pad.

“Often we secure something new and cannot wait to use it. In this case, I am delighted that we have these new, state-of-the-art facilities; but I am prayerful to our Lord that we never have to use them,” stated Kinchen. “As college students go out into the world, there are many situations and issues that cause concern for their parents. While some of these things are unavoidable, student safety due to inclement weather can be guaranteed to some extent. I am delighted that we can provide this enhanced protection for our students and this extra level of assurance for their parents.”

The heavy structures strategically located around the campus are a reminder of the value that BCF places upon its students. “We are entrusted with these precious lives, and their safety is a sacred responsibility,” stated Kinchen.

For more information about campus safety, upcoming special events, or to learn about the degrees and programs offered at The Baptist College of Florida, please call 800.328.2660 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.