Storm Safe Gyms Coming To Three Owasso Schools
OWASSO, Oklahoma - Three more schools in Owasso are getting storm safe gyms. Shelters are being added to gyms at two schools, and one is going up with the construction of a new elementary school.
The Morrow Elementary safe gym is still under construction, but when it’s finished the district says it will be able to hold almost 1,500 people in the event of an emergency.
Jessie Patrick is the Director of Construction for Owasso Public Schools. Each week, she checks on the progress at Morrow Elementary School making sure construction is coming along as the August 2019 deadline approaches.
"It is so exciting to see it coming together," said Patrick.
The first tornado safe gym in the district was finished last year, and they’re adding three more including one at Morrow.
"This is all designed so it has its own heat and ventilation system. We have got a storage room which will hold our backup data recovery system," said Patrick.
School leaders say the plan is for all of Owasso's 15 campuses to have their own tornado safe space - of course, putting that plan into action will take time and funding.
"It is something our community wants and expects, and that is what we are trying to provide anytime that we can," said Director of District Services Kerwin Koerner.
He says it is much more cost effective to include the tornado safe gyms in schools as they are built instead of adding them later on but says they are committed to adding the structures over time.
"The community has been very gracious in their support of our bond issues, knowing that these safe rooms are going to be part of that,” said Koerner.