McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State news

June 1, 2013

Expert: Schools need shelters

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Moore voters recently agreed to a $126.4 million bond issue to build a new middle school and two elementary schools. It’s unclear if those schools have been designed or if plans include safe rooms.

“We want all schools to have safe rooms, yes,” said Davis, who teaches special education at Apple Creek Elementary. “But in all districts, it’s not going to be possible unless money comes from some outside source.”

Smith, a meteorologist, said students should be in a reinforced area when severe storms are approaching.

Smith said Wichita, Kan., where AccuWeather is based, is a leader in building shelters in schools.

The city passed a $45 million bond in 2008 to put shelters in 60 schools, he said. This includes retrofitting existing schools as well as new construction.

“Some are completed,” he said. “Some are still under way.”

The city’s school district was the first in the country to build a FEMA-approved storm shelter in a school, the Wichita Eagle reported. In addition to bond money, the district has used grants from FEMA to fortify its schools.

Joy Hampton

366-3539

jhampton@

normantranscript.com

 

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