Construction on the new Plaza Towers Elementary school building is nearly complete, one week away from the start of school.
School officials gave a sneak peek inside the building early Tuesday morning.
“We’re sending the message to our kids that tragedy happens, life happens,” said Assistant Superintendent Michelle McNear. “But you’ve got to pick yourself up and move forward, and there’s a proper way to do it. We want to teach you how to do it and love you in the process.”
The previous school building was destroyed on May 20, 2013, as a tornado tore through the city of Moore. 24 people were killed, 7 of which were Plaza Elementary school students. Included in the new building’s design is a memorial for the students who were lost that fateful day, which is set to be complete later this year.
Superintendent Robert Romines says the pre-k and kindergarten hallway will double as a FEMA certified storm shelter. The hallway includes four classrooms, and according to Romines is able to hold all students at Plaza in case of an emergency.
“Early on I thought we’re not gonna get there, but we did,” said Romines. “We did it with the support from the community local and afar, I’ve never seen them work so hard.”
“I feel like we’ve been wounded, our hearts are hurting,” said 5th grade teacher Caren Rickwalt. “But you know we’re Oklahoma strong, and nothing can stop us.”
Panther students report for class next Monday, August 16th.