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“I’m just left in the dark,” Uncertainty surrounding new turnpike persists

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OKLAHOMA - After years of living in the peace and quiet, a retired firefighter is about to be uprooted.

Johnny Schofield, one of the first responders to the Oklahoma City bombing, has sought solitude in eastern Oklahoma County for decades.

His home, along with 79 other structures, are now in the way of a new turnpike.

NewsChannel 4 first spoke with Schofield at a turnpike meeting last week, minutes after learning he'd lose his house.

"I had no chance to prepare, no negotiations," he said. "They didn't even ask."

Schofield has lived just outside city limits for decades.

The peace he found in his country oasis was much needed, following April 19th, 1995.

"Made me want to hug my kids more, more often," Schofield said. "Found out how precious and fragile life is. You just never know."

He and so many others enjoy the quiet life, once abundant in the vast, eastern Oklahoma County.

The area is now speckled by anti-turnpike signs.

"I work hard all my life," Schofield said. "I found some place safe and peaceful, planned on staying here till the end of my days."

Days inside his home are now numbered.

Since learning he'd have to move, Schofieldhas received a single email.

Officials said the turnpike is in its "design phase" and land acquisition will eventually follow.

"I have no idea what I can afford, don't know what they're gonna offer me," Schofield said. "So I'm just left in the dark."

As the shock subsides into acceptance, Schofield can't help but feel slighted.

Decades of service to his city, and now the state will take his home.

"I think it's a shame that the state would do this," he said.

Schofield said he has not been given a timeline on when construction might begin.

NewsChannel 4 reached out to the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority for a possible timeline but did not hear back.