The Norman Transcript

News Features

May 23, 2013

School administrators focused on the recovery, future

MOORE — Just days after Moore Public Schools suffered the loss of nine students and complete destruction of Plaza Towers and Briarwood Elementary schools, administrators take it a day at a time, as details continue to emerge from affected areas and plans for the future remain uncertain.

“Currently our priority is regaining connectivity and basic housekeeping,” said Moore Superintendent Susan Pierce. “We plan to figure out the relocation of Plaza Towers and Briarwood students’ 2013/2014 classes next week and hope to be able to publicize that information July 1.”

Public scrutiny concerning fortified shelters or basements in school facilites has generated discussion of state legislation, but Pierce said the school district’s construction plans through its recent bond issue must remain the same.

“Re-prioritizing bond dollars is not possible, they’re passed for very specific things,” Pierce said. “General obligation bond money may be flexible but Monday’s events won’t change our bond issue plan. Outfitting schools with shelters is certainly something we’ll look at, we’re hoping there may be FEMA money available for that purpose.”

Moore’s $126 million bond issue was passed Feb. 12 and will include the construction of two elementary schools and a junior high school.

Plaza Towers and Briarwood will be rebuilt through insurance proceeds, Pierce said.

Regarding the storm preparedness of each school, including the sites of the district’s fatalities, Pierce was resolute in her assessment that every teacher reacted as trained and did everything they could have done.

“We have a protocol that’s practiced several times a year, we know what to do and the kids know what to do, I believe the teachers followed that protocol, protected their children and accounted for their safety. Teachers were heroic in their efforts,” Pierce said.

Pierce emphasized that tornado precautions in the district are specific to each school site, depending upon the building’s configuration as determined by civil defense engineers.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
News Features
  • March Against Monsanto Protesters rally against agro giant Monsanto

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Rain did not deter protesters at the March Against Monsanto in Bricktown on Saturday evening. A button on one man’s shirt was typical of the attitude of many of the marchers, “I’m one of those people,” it read....

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moore Med Cent Groundbreaking Community still grieving but looking toward future, new beginnings

    MOORE — One year after an EF-5 tornado devastated a core area of Moore that included the Moore Medical Center, the community gathered on the site of the former hospital to reflect and remember those who were lost....

    May 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Couple mourns loss of young lives

    When the tornado hit, Dennis and Wilma Chastain were holding hands. On May 20, 2013, the couple left their home in south Oklahoma City in Green Briar Estates near Westmoore High School around 2 p.m. to make it to a 2:30 appointment near ...

    May 20, 2014

  • Interfaith group invites women to join

    Women of a variety of faiths brought prayers and dinner and shared peaceful dialogue recently at a Norman home. Malaka Elyazgi’s prayer sounded like a song tripping off her lips in her native tongue. The translation was equally poetic....

    April 28, 2014

  • DUal-state advance Tough field awaits Southmoore at dual state

    Southmoore’s history at Dual State is a short read. The totality of it is a first-round loss to eventual runner-up Muskogee by one point in last year’s tournament.

    February 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Myths about obesity

    The obesity epidemic is among the most critical health issues facing the United States. Although it has generated a lot of attention and calls for solutions, it also has served up a super-sized portion of myths and misunderstandings....

    December 28, 2013

  • How to tame an out-of-control kid

    Edith, a retired Capitol Hill staffer from Washington, was at the end of her rope last year over the mayhem her 5-year-old great-grandson Wayne was causing at preschool. “I was on speed dial” at the school, says Edith, who is raising two ...

    December 28, 2013

  • Experts decry ‘resolution dependency’

    One of the country’s best-known fitness center chains is launching an initiative to wean people from what it calls an over-dependence on New Year’s resolutions....

    December 26, 2013

  • The 12 annoying songs of Christmas

    It’s that time of year, when Christmas songs fill shops, restaurants and your home. While anything on repeat can drive you mad, these 12 tunes are some of the most annoying....

    December 8, 2013

  • Caring for a cut Christmas tree

    Cut Christmas trees must be watered and kept hydrated to last through the holidays and to prevent them from becoming fire hazards. This includes small tabletop trees....

    December 8, 2013