FREDERICK, OK (KSWO) -Students and staff at the Great Plains Technology Center in Frederick feel a little bit safer after a brand new 100 person tornado shelter was installed on campus.
A Teachers Lounge with no windows is the only safe place the faculty and staff at the Great Plains Technology Center in Frederick had to take cover during severe weather and tornadoes...until now.
"Our facility is made of what we call dryvit, so it's not as resilient as maybe block or concrete or brick would be, so it's been very important to make our facility a little more secure for our students," said Gary Tyler, Assistant Superintendent of Great Plains Tech Center in Frederick.
Tyler says this 10 by 56 foot storm shelter is built to hold 100 people. It has a built in generator for lights, it's also ventilated by exhaust fans and even includes restrooms. It's also supposed to stand through an F5 tornado.
"I think everybody feels safer," said Tyler. "We do storm drills all the time and I think going into our safe areas, I'm not sure students felt so secure about that, but we still have a little remodel to do to make the access in this and the entry much smoother and so I think it's going to be great. Everybody is really excited about having it."
Tyler says the safety of their students and staff is their first priority, and after seeing how much damage a tornado can do, like the Moore 2013 tornado, the Great Plains Technology board members put the building of this shelter at the top of their to-do list.
"I think when you saw the big Moore tornado that hit the school there and you put a value on human life and there's no value, so I believe that just accelerated the process that we have to do something," said Tyler. "We needed to do something, so we had to do something. It became a priority for our board and we got it done."
Making sure the generator works and finishing the restrooms will be the final touches before its officially complete.
"We still have a few things to go, but we're prepared now for any storm in this area," said Tyler.
The shelter was constructed by a company out of Georgia and cost just over $97,000. The same company also built tornado shelters for Henniges Automotive in Frederick and at Altus and Tinker Air Force Bases.