One Year Later: Canadian Valley Tech Center Nearing Construction

Saturday, May 31st 2014, 8:22 pm
By: News 9

The Canadian Valley Technology Center saw some of the most destruction from the May 31, 2013 El Reno Tornado.

Officials told News 9 construction on a new campus is nearly set to begin. The skeleton of the main building on the El Reno campus will stay to support the future building.

"It's very emotional to be real honest about it," superintendent Greg Winters said. "I think it is for most everybody [with the school]."

For the past 12 months, students have been scattered at off-site locations. Their teachers are anxiously waiting for the new El Reno campus. A $12 million bond issue is helping with the total cost of $45.7 million.

The new building will have five safe rooms that can hold at total of 1,200 people. The extra safety precautions give peace of mind to many people, especially campus director Gayla Lutts who lost a cousin in the Moore tornado.

"I became entrenched in the human side of things and making sure that every employee on our campus was able to stay focused on the fact that this was just a building," said Lutts.

Tragedy hit Lutts personally and professionally at the same time, but the desire to rebuild kept her focused on the current project. Walls will start filling the current shell of the old building in the coming months. The school said it will be the safest technology center in the country.

"I've been doing what I do a long time, and this was by far the biggest challenge I've ever had professionally," said Winters.

In 2016, Winters expects construction to be complete on the campus. Earlier in 2014, nearly 63 percent of voters approved the bond issue that is funding the project.