By Caitlin Schudalla
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — The Moore Norman Technology Center Board of Education approved an optimistic budget for Fiscal Year 2014 at a regular meeting Thursday in Norman.
In addition to an estimated $1.6 to $1.7 million increase in the center’s budget, thanks to the voter-approved 5-mill tax levy in February, Superintendent Jane Bowen announced that the center received a $49,000 lottery grant.
“It’s rare that institutions receive lottery grants as consecutively as we have. We’re very grateful. This grant will be used to purchase special computerized welding equipment for our welding classes,” Bowen said.
MNTC Finance Director Roger Adair said he estimated the impact of the widely disputed ad valorem tax legislation (State Questions 758 and 766) to be comparatively low for the center, stating MNTC will likely lose between $330,000 to $350,000 in revenue.
“It’s a pretty standstill year for our building and general funds,” Adair said. “Right now, we’re in good shape.”
Bowen and board members showed heightened awareness of the center’s campus crisis plans and emergency readiness, with the board approving Bowen’s recommendation for a night campus supervisor to ensure safety procedure is properly enacted, if necessary.
Additionally, Bowen told board members in her report that Oklahoma City consulting servicer Wallace Engineering will work with MNTC to establish the safest shelter areas in each campus facility in the event of a storm.
“I can’t say enough for how well our staff responded to the events of May 20,” Bowen said. “Our crisis plan is obviously sound and everyone came together.
“We had some very frightened students who didn’t know for hours whether they had homes or family members who were unharmed, but we fed them and helped them until they were able to leave around 11 p.m. Our public information staff was especially wonderful in the help they gave Moore schools. They were there for weeks.”
Moore Norman’s South Penn campus sustained severe hail damage, with skylights reportedly shattered and roofing compromised. The board approved solicitation of bids for district-wide roof repairs Thursday, including storm-related projects and replacement projects predating May storms.