State leaders moving forward with school storm shelter program

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MOORE, Okla. - Since the day the tornado hit Moore, the same question has been asked over and over; why don't Oklahoma schools have storm shelters?

Oklahoma leaders have started a major effort to change things.

Rep. Mark McBride said, "If I can do something to keep our schools safer, that's what I want to do."

The "Shelter Oklahoma Schools" fund has a singular purpose, to provide shelters to schools that don't already have them.

Many schools built in recent years were constructed with some sort of shelter but for the most part, Oklahoma schools do not have storm shelters.

Rep. Jon Eichols said, "This is a large undertaking and it is going to take a large response from all of the citizens of Oklahoma."

The Apache Corporation has donated $500,000 in seed money and Norman Chrysler Jeep Dodge has given $200,000.

In reality, it could cost between $600,000 and $1 million for each school shelter.

Organizers said they aren't daunted by the numbers even though there are roughly 1,600 schools in the state.

"Big problems call for big solutions," Rep. Jon Eichols said. "Often people look at how hard a task is and you have two options: number one you can choose not to try or number two, you can choose to do something."

"Shelter Oklahoma Schools" will be a bipartisan non-profit effort involving state lawmakers, community leaders and private businesses.

*Click here for complete Okla. tornado coverage*

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