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'Shelter Oklahoma Schools' Working Hard On Safe Rooms

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The next project is scheduled for the Western Heights school district. Funding for that project is set to begin Jan. 9. The next project is scheduled for the Western Heights school district. Funding for that project is set to begin Jan. 9.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Their goal is to build privately funded storm shelters in Oklahoma schools. And seven months after they started, Shelter Oklahoma Schools says everything is starting to take shape.

"I feel very grateful for everyone who donated, and I think of the kids who are going to have this incredible facility," said Rep. Jon Echols.

Oklahoma Representatives Jon Echols and Mark McBride had a desire to help on May 20, 2013.

"We're both not wanting to cry and we asked, ‘What can we do?'" said McBride.

On May 21, Mark had an idea. 

"Jon said ‘Do you know a nonprofit we can put some money in for shelters?' And we said, ‘We can start our own.'" said McBride.

So with the students and instant results in mind, they set to work

"We can do this immediately, legislation is a process," McBride said.

After several months and over two million dollars raised things began to take shape.

"They wanted to be charitable and we gave them a place to put it," said Echols.

Shelter Oklahoma Schools is still funding shelters where they're wanted.

"Every penny is going into storm shelters," said Echols.

Each of the five shelters is different. The one at the brand new South Lake Elementary has 12 inch, cast in place walls, two mats of reinforced steel, FEMA rated doors, solid concrete roof, and can hold 600 - 800 people.

"This is the 5th one and it's the biggest one that we've done so far," said McBride.

Shelter Oklahoma schools provided all the funds for this shelter in progress. As for the others, the funds are more of that needed extra push.

"We're giving to [those] that need it to complete their project. Every single school we have…either wouldn't have been able to complete it or if they would have completed it. They would have had to cut a lot out of their project," said Echols.

The next project is scheduled for the Western Heights school district. Funding for that project is set to begin Jan. 9.

You can find out more information on Shelter Oklahoma Schools.

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