MOORE — All that is left at the sites of Briarwood and Plaza Towers elementary schools are cement slabs and a few bits of stray metal and brick.
The remnants of two schools demolished by a tornado May 20 have vanished, but the leaders responsible for making sure the students and teachers can begin school again have mountains of work ahead.
One challenge: money.
With a web of insurance claims and state funding dinged by the recession, Moore Public Schools officials hope the public will fill in the gaps.
The district recently announced a fundraising campaign called Rising from the Storm.
Donations will go to the general fund but will be earmarked for tornado recovery, Superintendent Robert Romines said. Donors can also specify particular projects — maybe refinishing a gym floor or replacing library books.
Romines said district officials want to be careful that each dollar goes to the right place.
“You're dealing with people's money,” he said. “You're dealing with people's emotions.”
Five buildings were destroyed or heavily damaged May 20; another 20 were damaged May 31.
Federal workers, insurance agents and district employees are still assessing the damage, but Romines said initial estimates are $60 million to $70 million.