Oklahoma City to require all new schools to build safe rooms during construction

OKLAHOMA CITY – This anniversary week is full of tragic memories.

But we also want to look at the positive changes that have come about in the past year.

NewsChannel 4 has focused on “Building Safer Schools” in our state.

We discovered early on that more than 500,000 Oklahoma school children go to a school without FEMA-rated tornado protection.

Since May 20, 2013, we have uncovered some sobering statistics about how many school children are vulnerable to large, damaging tornadoes during the school day.

We found that more than half of our schools have no FEMA-rated storm protection.

FEW SCHOOLS USING FEMA FUNDING TO BUILD SAFEROOMS AFTER MOORE TORNADO

More than 80 schools have FEMA-funded saferooms across our state.

Construction records show that Oklahoma City Public Schools have not built a saferoom in ten years.

Oklahoma City Public Schools say that will soon change.

Nichols Hills Elementary will soon break ground on a saferoom gymnasium.

John Rex Charter has added a saferoom to the design during construction.

Oklahoma City Public Schools now has a tornado saferoom policy.

The policy states that the district will consider building a shelter as part of any new construction.

The district will also consider adding saferooms to existing schools if funding is available because they believe it is a priority to provide a safe and secure environment for students and staff.

The City of Oklahoma City took a bold step earlier this year, changing the building city code to require all new schools to build a tornado shelter during construction.

The new city policy affects 28 different school districts within Oklahoma City limits.

The city policy affects 28 different school districts within Oklahoma City Limits.