Deer Creek Middle School Plays it 'Safe'

Posted: Apr 02, 2008 1:37 PM CDT Updated: Apr 03, 2008 4:58 PM CDT

By Darren Brown, INsite Team

The Deer Creek School District is no stranger to severe weather. Storms seem to be drawn to that area of town. They had a near miss a few days ago.
So, when the new Deer Creek Middle School needed a practice gym,school leaders decided to create something more substantial.
Now, when severe weather strikes,students andteachers canseek shelter intheir new practice gym, which also doubles as a safe room. The gym can accomodate about 800 people and withstand an F4 tornado.
"It should withstand that without any problem," said Richard Vrooman, chief operations officer at Deer Creek."It's about 12 inches thick, the exterior walls are made out of foam with reinforcing rods with concrete."
The safe room/gym was a million-dollar project, about a third of which in the form of a FEMA grant.
"If you live in Oklahoma you have to be aware of the weather and the types of weather systems that come through here and take precautions," Vrooman said. "You're foolish if you don't take precautions."