Storm Shelter In Moore Technology Center Raising Concern

Wednesday, July 30th 2014, 7:49 pm
By: News 9

A Facebook post by Moore Public Schools is causing controversy among parents.

The district posted what they intended to be recognition of progress, but some are calling it a full-on slap in the face.

The district's technology center was destroyed in the 2013 May tornado. Student records and payroll were almost all lost.

That data is now protected, but some parents feel children should be more valuable than computers.

Rainy days mean little sleep and many worries for the Legg family ever since losing their brother and son, Christopher, in the May 20 tornado.

Something else has also kept Danni Legg up at night -- a Facebook post from Moore Public Schools in April, touting a storm shelter for the district's servers.

"If we're happy that we're protecting our servers for the districts, that's misplaced praise," Legg said.

Chad Godwin knows exactly what the district was talking about in the post, having built several school storm shelters and data centers across the metro. 

Godwin says, to be a shelter, it must include bathrooms and back-up generators. The Moore's technology center is essentially just reinforced walls and costs almost $100,000 less than an actual shelter.

"The overall cost of adding a data center is considerably less than retrofitting a storm shelter," Godwin said.

"Very different set of circumstances, that's just more of a concrete bunker," Moore Superintendent Dr. Robert Romines said.

Dr. Romines said the district used litigation money through FEMA to pay for the data bunker, and the Facebook post was worded wrong. Also, plans continue to unfold to put shelters in every school.

"Said all along it's a process, not an event," Dr. Romines added.

Still, Legg feels, even if the data bunker cost a penny, that's a penny not being spent on school shelters.

"We need to protect the helpless and the innocent," said Legg. "Those children were innocent that day."

Legg, along with Take Shelter Oklahoma, is still seeking signatures for statewide shelter funding out of the state's general revenue fund.

7/6/2014 Related Story: Storm Shelter Initiative May Stress General Fund