School installs storm shelter with the help of community

School installs storm shelter with the help of community

Posted: Updated:
CHICKASHA -

After the recent strings of tornadoes, a school south of the metro is installing a storm shelter.

"They suck you up."   
"It tears buildings to pieces." 

Trevor Caveness and his cousin, Jacob, are no strangers to tornadoes especially after one ripped through their town two years ago. Since that devastating storm Trevor and Jacob practice tornado drills at Friend School just outside Chickasha.

"We wait for the drill then we get on the busses and go across the street," said Trevor.

Since the school doesn't have a shelter the kids are forced to leave the building and go to a nearby church.

"It takes about 8 minutes to go across the highway and get to Sharon's Baptist church," said Friend Public Schools Superintendent and Principal, Alton Rawlins.

Rawlins said in a true emergency eight minutes is too long which is why the school is installing a storm shelter on campus. The ground just outside the school has been flattened ready for construction to start next week

"We should be able to be in the new storm shelter in about two minutes." 

The 50-thousand dollar above ground shelter is designed to hold the nearly 300 students and faculty members. The community helped pay for it.

"Last Friday we had a walk-a-thon and raised $25,000."

A generous donation from Shelter Oklahoma Schools covered the rest. Fox 25's parent company.. Sinclair Broadcast Group donated 45-thousand-dollars to Shelter Oklahoma Schools through the Sinclair Relief Fund.

"The reason we were selected was because our students and community showed so much initiative in our fundraising initiative."

Trevor and Jacob are glad to see the shelter go in.

"It makes me feel much, much more protected," said Jacob. 

They say in an emergency it will make things faster and easier, "And save a lot of lives." 

Construction starts next Friday. The school hopes to have the shelter complete by March.

 

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