“We need to protect them,” 14 Moore schools have shelters ahead of storm season

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MOORE, Okla. – According to school administrators​, a project to put storm shelters in every Moore school is on track.

On May 20, 2013, seven children were killed when an EF-5 tornado ripped through Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore.

At the time, the school didn’t have storm shelters.

Moore resident Jim Hamlin remembers it well.

"Storm shelters are an investment to protect the people closest to us,” Hamlin said.

That’s why he voted to approve a $209 million bond in 2015 to put shelters in every Moore school.

Dr. Robert Romines, the superintendent for Moore Public Schools, said the district is well its way to completing that project.

"I’m very proud of the progress. Currently, I believe we have 14 of our sites that have storm shelters. Approximately 11 that are under construction right now,” Dr. Romines said.

Several elementary schools and Southmoore High School are on that second list. They’re expected to be completed by 2019.

"We've got media centers. We've got gymnasiums. We've got classroom additions going up at these particular sites. Those are two-fold that met the need for growth but also was able to help us put a storm shelter at each of those sites,” Dr. Romines said.

School administrators were relieved to see the bond pass.

Dr. Romines said this project is different than any other because it hits home for the entire community.

"Our conversations changed as a result of the May 20th tornado that came through the community. The cry and the call was for, you know, storm shelters at all the sites,” Dr. Romines said.

"It's the lives of our children and it's our own lives. We only have one and we need to protect them,” Hamlin said.

For a full list of completed schools and schools yet to be completed, click here.

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