OU Leaders Unveil Plans To Build Storm Shelters For Students

Tuesday, June 24th 2014, 7:52 pm
By: News 9

This spring was quiet compared to any other in the last decade when it comes to tornadoes, but it hasn't stopped the University of Oklahoma from preparing for the worst.

The university is planning to spend several million dollars on new tornado shelters.

The O.U. Board of Regents approved a $12 million dollar bond to pay for up to five tornado shelters on campus. The plans are to put shelters under and around campus housing.

"As president, I find myself waking up at night when there are warnings and worrying about the safety of our students," said President David Boren. "I feel it's imperative for the University of Oklahoma to do this. I hope other schools around the state follow our example."

President Brown told News 9 the money for the shelter will not come from the students, but from Section 13 of the state constitution.

"Fortunately, this funding does not have to go through the legislator," said Boren.

Not every shelter will be used during time of emergency. Some shelters will be underground while others will serve as a multi-purpose room for activities. Only the university's staff and students will have access to the shelter.

The Board of Regents also approved a nearly 5% increase to OU student tuition, but Boren said the increase is not because of the shelter. He said, it's due to a lack of state funding.

The shelters are still in the early stages, but are expected to be complete before Spring 2016.