The Norman Transcript


September 8, 2013

Building up Briarwood



“It was a plain field this morning. It was just flatlands. And now look at this,” she said pointing at the purple and teal playground bustling with volunteers.

“Kids need a place to play. With the disaster it took away this opportunity,” Webb said.

Parents said children being able to be part of the construction process helps empower them and aids the healing process.

“My son got to paint a pave stone that will be here forever,” said Nicole Harris, the Briarwood Parent Teacher Association president.

“My daughter has been shuffling mulch all morning,” said Kelly Hickman, the PTA president.

Parents said the opportunity to stay together as Briarwood instead of being split up into different schools as it was done after the May 1999 tornadoes has been huge for the children.

“We are so grateful that we are here and together as a school,” Harris said. “They started school together and the focus wasn’t ‘Urgh, you’re a tornado kid’ (at another school). But they are here together. They rebuild together. That helps them heal. Here they have familiar faces, familiar teachers. Things are almost normal.”

The youngest volunteers were very proud of their handy work.

“The way I look at this playground is that I want to play on this,” said a sweat-drenched Zachary Harris, now a third-grader at Briarwood. He added that it was great to be asked what they wanted on their playground. KaBOOM and Nike had asked the kids to be part of the visioning process and plans were drawn up based on their ideas and wishes.

Second-grader Hezekiah Darbon said they had been playing football and basketball during recess since school started and that was OK, but a playground will be even better.

He said he liked working like an adult.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Body 1 Police identify woman found dead Monday

    Norman police have identified a woman found dead in her home at 2202 Donna Drive Monday afternoon. Police responded at 1:25 p.m. to the residence of Cassandra Thompson, 30, after receiving a report that she had not shown up for work ...

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Residents speak out about document regarding shelter photos

    Norman and metro-area residents showed up in overwhelming numbers, many in red shirts, for an Animal Shelter Oversight Board meeting Monday night demanding for their opinions to be heard....

    July 29, 2014

  • Mixon’s attorney says athlete acted in self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense. “This past Friday morning, Joe Mixon found himself in a situation ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Cool snap brings heat relief to Oklahoma, Arkansas

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The dog days of summer are coming in with a whimper. Weather forecasters say a cold front headed for Oklahoma and Arkansas will bring unseasonably cool temperatures and a chance of rain through next week....

    July 29, 2014

  • Be ready for ‘prolonged’ Gaza war, prime minister says

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Signaling an escalation of Israel’s Gaza operation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis Monday to be ready for a “prolonged” war, and the military warned Palestinians in three large neighborhoods to ...

    July 29, 2014

  • FBI defends search for Oklahoma City bombing video

    SALT LAKE CITY — The FBI thoroughly searched its archives and found no evidence that more videos of the Oklahoma City bombing exist, agency employees told a judge Monday in a trial that has rekindled questions about whether any others were ...

    July 29, 2014

  • County moves forward on nursing home bonds

    Cleveland County commissioners on Monday approved a resolution authoring a county trust to issue up to $15 million for a nursing home on the site of the former Whispering Pines nursing home at 501 E. Robinson St....

    July 29, 2014

  • Deal to improve health care costs $17B

    WASHINGTON — A bipartisan deal announced Monday would authorize about $17 billion to help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat veterans and make it easier to fire executives at the Department of ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Breast Care Center will relocate to HealthPlex

    The Norman Regional Health System will move its Breast Care Center to the HealthPlex campus, making it more accessible for patients, hospital officials said Monday. At its monthly board meeting, the Norman Regional Hospital Authority ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Little Axe Health Center hosting blood drive

    Norman-area blood donors this summer will not only save lives when they donate with Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI), they’ll also get “Feel Cool” T-shirts and two tickets to the Oklahoma City Zoo....

    July 29, 2014