The Norman Transcript

May 24, 2013

Tornado causes more than $45M in damage to Moore Public Schools

By Mark Schlachtenhaufen
CNHI News Service

MOORE — Moore Public schools incurred more than $45 million in damage due to Monday’s EF-5 tornado according to preliminary estimates, a school official said.

Friday afternoon, the official last day of the district’s school year, Moore Public Schools Superintendent Susan Pierce briefed reporters on miscellaneous items of public interest at Wayland Bonds Elementary School. Two elementary schools and other infrastructure, including the administration office, was damaged by the tornado.

Pierce said only a handful of Moore staff members were treated for injuries and the last staff member in the hospital was expected to be released Friday. The district’s website, phone system and e-mail has been restored, Pierce said. It has also launched Twitter accounts and updated Facebook pages. The planning process for moving forward is under way toward the next school year.

The district’s IT staff are confident that it will be able to retrieve all student and staff information, Pierce said.

“And that is nothing short of miraculous,” Pierce said. “Their building was blown away. We have done a miracle there.”

Administration will be operating out of Moore High School while repairs are being made to the administration building, Pierce said. It can be reached by calling 735-4200, the main number to the district, which was operational as of Friday, Pierce said.

District offices will be closed on Memorial Day and the summer schedule will begin the following day. The temporary administration office at the high school will be open 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and 7:30 a.m. to noon Fridays.

Regarding accounting matters, all district staff will be paid by May 30, Pierce said. Summer school classes have been pushed back. Driver education details are in the works. Graduation for the high schools will be May 25 at the Cox Covention Center as planned. Pierce said those who want to donate to the district will soon be able to do so at mooreschools.com.

Pierce offered sympathies to Moore families who have suffered losses and praised teachers and staff for their actions during the disaster. She also thanked those who have supported the city and the school district, including volunteers and media organizations.

Joplin Schools Superintendent CJ Huff told reporters he will be using his district’s experience from the tornado that struck there two years ago to help Moore Public Schools get through the coming period.

Huff said many thoughts and prayers are being offered by the people of Joplin for the people affected here.