The Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City recently presented a nearly $1 million donation to the Moore School District.
District leaders said the donation, which totaled $900,018, is earmarked for projects that otherwise would be delayed until after projects related to the May 2013 tornado recovery were completed.
The funds presented at Thursday's school board meeting will go toward renovation of the athletic facility at Central Junior High School.
Edie Roodman, executive director of the Jewish Federation, said a federation committee attended briefings and made site visits over a period of about four months to assess the best way to allocate the funds that poured into the federation for tornado relief. She said the donations came from generous individuals, foundations and Jewish Federations across the country.
“We knew that, despite the tremendous outpouring of support to address short-term needs, when the spotlight dimmed, having a long-term vision for the community of Moore would be essential,” Roodman said.
“Our Disaster Relief Committee listened to Moore residents who highlighted the schools' pivotal role in their community. Many said the award-winning schools were the primary reason they lived in Moore and planned to stay there. It became clear to us that this is where our support should be targeted.”
Roodman said a series of meetings with Moore Superintendent Robert Romines led the federation to narrow its focus to the renovation of Central Junior High's athletic facility. Though the district administration has expressed a desire to renovate the aging facility, funds have not been available, she said.
District leaders said following the May storms, the structure as well the athletic equipment housed inside suffered severe damage, preventing further use of the facility. Built in the 1960s, the athletic facility has been in constant use by most of the schools in the district for events ranging from football games, marching band practices and performances, track and field meets, Civil War encampments, elementary student activities and others.