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Oklahoma school installs bullet proof storm shelters

A contractor helps install a storm shelter at Cashion Elementary School (KOKH David Young).{p}{/p}
A contractor helps install a storm shelter at Cashion Elementary School (KOKH David Young).

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A metro school is taking safety precautions with two new bullet proof storm shelters.

It's the ultimate haven for students at Cashion: a storm shelter that stands the test of just about anything.

Roger Peck with Tornado Place storm shelters out of Tulsa said, "We've done our own in-house testing with AR-15's and AK-47's. We've used ammunition that is even armor piercing to prove that the shelters will keep children and staff safe."

Contractors said the shelter's outer layer is made of steel. The second layer is what makes the difference.

"The second layer which is actually the ballistic proof portion is a hybrid alloy. Basically, it's a blended material that gives us extra stability," Peck said.

Before the new shelter in the elementary school, students would take refuge from severe weather in the school's basement.

According to the elementary school’s principal, Julie Moore, "It's a multi-purpose room. We use it for indoor recess, we use it for art, our art program, lots of different things. You do have to climb down three levels of stairs."

One reason staffers are excited about the new upstairs shelter is for efficiency reasons in emergency situations. For example. a student who has a hard time walking down the stairs would have to be carried by a staff member.

Moore said, “Those parents that have students who may access the building have been very positive and appreciative."

The first of two saferooms was built inside a special needs classroom.

"Giving students and staff immediate access to a place of safe haven basically, is important,” Peck said, “because when we are talking about an intruder in a school, we are talking about seconds."

School employees said the peace of mind for students will make it all worth it.

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