A $1.5-million grant is giving students in McAlester a safe place to go if severe weather strikes during the school day.
Workers will soon build the first safe rooms in the school district here at Puterbaugh middle school. Principal Caroline Miller says she is excited her school is about to receive the $1.5-million grant.
"It's going to be wonderful for our students, our families, and our teachers as well as our community. The support from the Puterbaugh Foundation, we couldn't have done it without them," said Principal Miller.
The grant will allow the district to build four new classrooms that double as safe rooms. A preliminary sketch shows what the buildings will look like.
"They're going to be secure there's going to be lots of infrastructures so that they are safe and those will be our go to places for tornadoes," said Principal Miller.
In the past, students have taken shelter in the hallways.
"The teachers would lead the students out and they would line up along the lockers and duck and cover," said Principal Miller.
Superintendent Randy Hughes says he's thankful that the new safe rooms will give peace of mind to parents that their children will be safe.
"Being able to have something that can give us that protection and additional classrooms at one of our sites is just a blessing," said Hughes.
Workers plan to start building within the next 6 months.