ELDON, Iowa (AP) -

Workers in Eldon have begun construction of a saferoom for elementary school students that offers protection if a tornado hits the southeast Iowa community.

The Ottumwa Courier reports the Cardinal school district is using grants and sales tax revenue to fund the roughly $1 million project.

District Superintendent Joel Pedersen says many people in the community have been concerned about the lack of protection at the elementary school since a tornado hit the area 12 years ago. That storm killed two people in Agency.

Although high school students could seek refuge in a basement, the elementary has no safe spot.

That will change when the saferoom is completed. It will have 1-foot-thick panels and steel supports.

Pedersen says the work could be finished by September.