Oklahoma

Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People

Woodward Latest School District to Consider Tornado Shelters Without State Help

Another Oklahoma school district has decided not to wait for the federal and state governments to help it build tornado shelters.

At an Aug. 6 meeting, the Woodward School Board approved a $29 million bond issue, which voters will decide on in October. The Woodward NewsRachael Van Horn reports more than $24 million would be set aside for construction and renovations, including:

Construction of two additional safe rooms at all three elementary schools so that all students have access to FEMA standard shelter from a storm.

Construction of a multi-purpose safe room facility at the high school … [and] construction of a multi-purpose safe room facility … for the middle school.

The vote by the Woodward School Board came just one day after Edmond took similar action.

A late-night tornado struck Woodward in April 2012, causing EF3 damage and killing six people.

Oklahoma’s  safe room rebate program should get a funding boost because of this year’s deadly storms.  But as StateImpact found, the state’s priority is on providing shelters for individuals, not schools, though districts can apply for aid, and the program has helped 85 schools over the past decade.


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