Millions approved for a safe room at a school in the metro

Millions approved for a safe room at a school in the metro

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

3.3 million dollars has been set aside for a safe room at an elementary school in the metro. 

Malinda Mason loves Cesar Chavez Elementary but like any parent she worries about her daughter.

"You're sitting back wondering well what is my baby doing."

Her concern grows during severe weather.

"You just want to be there even though there's a lot of times you can't be." 

With the current design of the school if disaster strikes the only protection children have is the traditional duck and cover in the hallway.

"I have had some parents come and talk to me after the tornado in Moore about how do we keep the kids safe and what do we do," said Cesar Chavez Principal, Dr. Laura Morris.

Now Dr. Morris can answer those questions with ease. "We are very excited that we will have a safe room for our students to go into in case there's ever another tornado." 

Monday night the Oklahoma City Public School Board approved funding to build a safe room at the elementary school.

"3.3 million dollars is what the board approved last night," said OKCPS spokeswoman Tierney Tinnin.

Tinnin said the shelter will be paid for with a 2007 bond and adding a safe room or shelter to all schools is something the district is considering.

"We are having those conversations. We're looking at what it takes to have those safe spaces at our schools."

While it is still early in the process Dr. Morris says a general outline is in place.

"Right now I think the plan is to make the gymnasium a safe room similar to some of the ones the other districts in the state have been building," said Dr. Morris. 

Designed to hold a thousand people the room will accommodate all students and faculty at Cesar Chavez.
Melinda is just glad her daughter's school is the first in the district to get a safe room after the May 20th tornado.

"It makes me feel a lot safer knowing my child has somewhere to go."

The school is still taking bids from builders. No timeline has been set for construction.

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