MOORE — A temporary memorial of seven wooden crosses honoring the children who died at Plaza Towers Elementary in the May 20 tornado will soon be removed, as administrators make way for continued construction to rebuild the school.
Moore Schools spokesman Jimi Fleming said school officials are working closely with the seven families to plan a permanent memorial when the new school opens for the 2014-15 school year.
One cross was removed by family members on Wednesday, and Fleming said the removal time and date for the remaining crosses will be kept private.
The seven families can either keep the crosses or leave them stored in a school maintenance shed.
“We've known all along that the area where the crosses are at would eventually need to be a part of the construction site itself,” Fleming said.
“The memorial has stayed up as long as possible, and it just came time that the crosses were going to need to be moved — which honestly isn't something that we've been looking forward to.”
The crosses, located on school property, were put up by Moore Public Schools' maintenance workers in the days after the tornado.
Because the design of the new school has changed from the previous site plan, Fleming did not know what specifically will be built where the crosses currently sit.
At 9:30 a.m. Thursday, the parents of Christopher Legg, a Plaza Towers third-grader killed in the tornado, released balloons at the memorial site to celebrate what would have been Legg's 10th birthday.
Fleming said more than 40 people were in attendance, including Mark Nestlen with Take Shelter Oklahoma and state Rep. Joe Dorman.