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OKC Civic Affairs

NewsOK | BLOGS

Safe room requirement for schools in OKC takes effect May 1

by William Crum Published: February 26, 2014
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Oklahoma City will begin requiring tornado-safety rooms in new school construction starting May 1.

The city council voted Tuesday for a measure requiring new school buildings to have safe rooms.

The tornado-resistant rooms must have enough space to protect the number of children and teachers for which the building is designed.

The 8-1 decision overrides a Building Code Commission recommendation that safe room construction decisions be left to school boards.

Ward 1 Councilman James Greiner voted against the proposal. He said he agreed with building commissioners that safe room decisions are best left to the governing body of the school.

Oklahoma City Public Schools interim superintendent, Dave Lopez, says the district appreciates the city’s focus on student and school staff safety.

Children living in Oklahoma City attend school in 24 districts. OKC is the biggest of those, with about 46,000 students.