Baptist College of Florida installs storm shelters

One of the Baptist College of Florida storm shelters is shown being lifted by a crane onto an 18-inch-thick concrete pad. The Baptist College of Florida has installed five storm shelters on its Graceville campus, after their purchase was approved by the BCF Board of Trustees 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,” said BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen, in a statement. “While we cannot control the weather, we can provide the highest level of safety available for our BCF family.”

The storm shelters arrived on the BCF campus on April 6. Four of them—each of varying sizes and maximum capacities—have been secured above the ground. The remaining shelter was placed underground. Each shelter is rated to withstand 400 mile-per-hour winds and 200 mile-per-hour projectiles, making them capable of protecting students from devastating winds, storms or workplace violence.

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.

“Often we secure something new and cannot wait to use it,” Kinchen said. “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. 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.”

Sandra Richards is director of enrollment management and marketing for the Baptist College of Florida. She can be reached by phone at (850) 263-9015 or via email at

Leave a comment