ALTUS, Okla. (TNN) - New safe rooms have been built at two schools in Altus thanks to a bond proposal passed in 2019.
When Altus Public Schools worked to pass their first school bond in more than 60 years, safe rooms were a top priority. Altus Primary School teacher Lindsey Dorton says previously when there was severe weather they had to pile the students into the old bathrooms.
“Getting a bunch of kids to pile in there together is very interesting when you have a bunch of 6 and 7-year olds. I remember one particular case we had to go in there, it was scary and it was tough. It was a bunch of little ones in there all piled together and they were scared, and we didn’t have much space to move,” Dorton said.
The safe rooms were built at Altus Primary School and the Early Childhood Center. Superintendent Roe Worbes says when they were putting together the 2019 bond, teachers and parents alike said more safe rooms were needed.
“Here at Altus schools almost every single hallway has glass along the top, we did the best we could, we can put as many in restrooms as possible, but there just wasn’t a good place in any of our buildings necessarily to put the kids for safety reasons,” Worbes said.
The hope is the kids never need to use the safe rooms, but if they do, the district is now prepared.
“We can all fit through here, we all have room, we can breathe, it’s not as scary a situation when we have this much room to move around, we’re not in tight quarters like we were before,” Dorton said.
“While the safe rooms are now complete, there is still more work to be done on the bond. Superintendent Worbes says right now they’re renovating the cafeteria at Altus High School and over the summer they’ll be building new restrooms across the district.