Oklahoma schools destroyed by tornado to rebuild

ANGELA PASCOPELLA's picture
Monday, June 3, 2013

Administrators believe rebuilding a pair of Oklahoma elementary schools destroyed by a May 20 tornado will help their neighborhoods' long-term recovery, though some parents and children aren't sure it's a good idea to put up new schools on land where seven third-graders perished after being crushed by debris.

"They can rebuild, but not in the same exact spot. People died there," said Antonio Garcia, who rode out the top-of-the-scale EF5 twister inside the Plaza Towers Elementary School on his last day of sixth grade. When school restarts in the fall, he will have moved on to junior high, but he says the site should be made a memorial to his dead schoolmates.

"Don't build it in the same spot. And make it safer for everybody," he said.

Moore School District Superintendent Susan Pierce said this week the district would rebuild the Briarwood and Plaza Towers schools on their same sites after shuffling their 1,150 students into other schools for the 2013-14 school year.

Read more »