Tushka Building School Back Storm Ready 2 Years After Deadly Tor - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Tushka Building School Back Storm Ready 2 Years After Deadly Tornado

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The April 2011 twister killed two people, destroyed several homes, and wiped out the community's school. The April 2011 twister killed two people, destroyed several homes, and wiped out the community's school.
"The day-to-day has been a lot different," said high school Principal Matt Simpson. "Everybody has made a lot of sacrifices, everybody has had to work a little harder to make do." "The day-to-day has been a lot different," said high school Principal Matt Simpson. "Everybody has made a lot of sacrifices, everybody has had to work a little harder to make do."
School leaders say it's exciting seeing the new building and a new beginning taking shape. School leaders say it's exciting seeing the new building and a new beginning taking shape.
TUSHKA, Oklahoma -

Two years ago, a tornado took aim at the tiny town of Tushka, in Atoka County.

That twister killed two people, destroyed several homes, and wiped out the community's school. They're now building a new school, and when it's finished, the school will be ready storm-ready.

When a tornado ripped across parts of Atoka County on April 14, 2011, it took aim on Tushka's school. Since then, students have been in temporary buildings.

"The day-to-day has been a lot different," said high school Principal Matt Simpson. "Everybody has made a lot of sacrifices, everybody has had to work a little harder to make do."

Now, two years after the storm, construction of a new school building is making progress in Tushka.

4/15/2011 Related Story: Small Atoka County Community Devastated By Deadly Tornado

School leaders say it's exciting seeing the new building and a new beginning taking shape.

"The school is the community and is the town and, basically, this is kind of a symbol of us building back the whole town, as well," Simpson said.

The 60,000-sq. ft. school, paid for mostly with insurance money, and some from district savings and from FEMA, has a better layout with much more useable space. But, also, each of the three wings will have its own built-in storm shelter.

"No student will be far from a safe room," said Paul Weaver, principal of the elementary and middle schools.

The shelters which will be used as classrooms, are made of reinforced concrete and steel with enough room for 150 people each.

5/9/2011 Related Story: Rebuilding In Tushka Continues After April's Deadly Tornado

"If there's a situation where there is bad weather, they don't have to go outside the building to get into another area or something like that," Simpson said.

If another tornado hits like the one two years ago, it will mean better safety and more peace of mind.

"They've dealt with a lot, and so this is going to be a pay-off for them, for what they've put up with and dealt with," Weaver said.

Construction of the new, more storm ready school in Tushka will be finished in October. The school district will move in students at the end of that semester, and they can begin the new semester in the new facility.

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