Bartlesville school board rejects storm shelter proposal


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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 6/28/2013 5:14 pm Published: 6/28/2013 3:29 pm


Families in Bartlesville are upset the school board chose not to install storm shelters in the schools.

FOX23's Sharon Phillips went to the school board to find out why they decided against it.

Central Middle School in Bartlesville is only one of two buildings that have some type of safe area for kids. This building has an underground area, but parents said it's not enough.

Melanie Manley has a son who attends Central Middle School in Bartlesville. She knew the school board was considering a proposal to install storm shelters in all the schools here, and was very concerned to learn that won't happen, at least for now.

"To me that's a very big disappointment and we want our community to be as safe for our kids as possible," she said.

With the Moore tornado still fresh on everyone's minds, Melanie said she and other Bartlesville parents don't want to gamble against Mother Nature.

"It's unpredictable and a lot of times you have no warning, and the closer a shelter is for those kids, the better chance they stand," she said.

The school board will be putting a $37 million bond issue before the voters in September and much of that money will go to things like a new gym, updated technology and more security.

"I think some of that money could have been distributed to the storm shelters," she said.

District officials told FOX23 there was not enough time to get the logistics of the storm shelters worked out, and or time to speak with Emergency Management. That's why the proposal was shot down for now.

Right now, only two school buildings, including the high school, have an area like a basement for kids to take refuge in.

The six elementary school buildings have nothing underground.

"The fact that they had no means of safety is something we all need to think about," she said.

The district said the renovation projects have had much more planning and they hope to revisit the idea of storm shelters in the future.


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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Mayor Maynot - 6/28/2013 6:22 PM
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