Moore parents concerned district will not consider new storm shelter invention
A brand new invention promises to protect children from the worst storms in nature and from a full on assault by an armed intruder. It's made of the same steel used to protect our military and can be folded up to save space in classroom.
"I would love my kids in one of these," said Mike Vogt the president of Staying Home Corporation and the creator of the Hide-Away Shelter, "One of the criteria we talked about is we wanted to make sure we had the strongest shelter on the market."
The shelter passed the rigorous testing at the Debris Impact Facility at Texas Tech University and passed ballistic and wind testing from other independent groups. Vogt says the only problem with the shelter is it is brand new. "When you have anything new it always takes people a little while to accept it."
"We actually found a shelter that can be placed in each one of our classrooms in every school," Mindy Chaddock, a parent of a student Moore Public Schools told Fox 25. She is referring to the Hide-Away Shelter that she saw demonstrated at a recent PTA convention.
"A child's strength can pull it out and lock it into place; it's gone through all the testing," Chaddock said sitting atop the underground shelter where she road out May 20th with her familydirectly across the street from Plaza Towers Elementary.
Chaddock and other parents want to privately raise money to put the Hide-Away Shelter in their children's elementary school. Other parents told us the district told them to stop.
"We're not going to be motivated or led by fear we want to do what we feel is best and of course take our lead from the experts in the field," said Dr. Robert Romines the new superintendent for Moore Public Schools.
Dr. Romines told Fox 25 he didn't know much about the Hide-Away Shelter, but Dr. Romines received a personal briefing and presentation of all the independent testing of the shelter. Still he said any talk of the collapsible storm shelter is on the back-burner.
"I don't know that the research has been out there long enough for the collapsible type structures," Dr. Romines said.
Dr. Romines said he is waiting on FEMA to provide an estimate of what it would take to retrofit current school buildings with reinforced hallways to protect against storms. The retrofit plans would not provide any protection against intruders.
"We've seen a lot of what people would consider to be safe structures or safe rooms; again we're leaving that up to the experts," Dr. Romines told Fox 25.
Parents we spoke with say they are concerned the district is not moving quickly enough because it could be years before all of Moore's schools have storm protection.
"It is a process and it takes time and, I do understand. I am a parentmyself, we'll get there but it's just going to take some time," Dr. Romines said.