The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 18, 2013

Drummond schools get shelter grant for tornado-safe building

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Drummond Public Schools’ next building project got a shot in the arm Monday by way of a $100,000 grant from a nonprofit that assists schools in building safe rooms to protect students and teachers from tornadoes.

Mark McBride and Jon Echols, state representatives who helped establish Shelter Oklahoma Schools, along with John Hunt, representing Norman Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge, and five members of Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers Foundation, went to Drummond to give a check to Superintendent Mike Woods.

Shelter Oklahoma Schools was created after the May 20 tornado that killed 24 people in Oklahoma City and suburban Moore. The tornado struck two schools. At Moore’s Plaza Towers Elementary School, seven students were killed. Briarwood Elementary School also was heavily damaged.

The Drummond shelter is planned as a monolithic dome, 32 feet tall by 125 feet in diameter, housing a P.E. area, large classroom and stage. The entire building will be a safe room rated to withstand an EF-5 tornado.

A bond issue passed two years ago for construction of the building. Total building cost is estimated at $1.89 million, Woods said.

“We hope to go to bids in January,” Woods said.

Shelter Oklahoma Schools donated $25,000 to a rural school near Chickasha and another $100,000 to Calumet. Western Heights, an independent district in Oklahoma City, also will get $100,000.

The nonprofit continues to accept donations and pass them to schools. McBride said Shelter Oklahoma Schools works with the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, eliminating administrative costs.