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Moore, Okla. School Destroyed by Violent Tornado Set to Reopen

plaza_twitter_moore public schools
Photo Credit: Twitter/Moore Public Schools
(Volunteers build a new playground at the rebuilt Plaza Towers Elementary.)

May 20, 2013 is a day etched in to the minds of thousands across Oklahoma. That’s the day an EF-5 tornado ripped through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore — flattening houses, shredding businesses and causing catastrophic damage to two schools in the town. One of those schools, Plaza Towers Elementary, was the site of unimaginable heartbreak; that’s where seven students lost their lives.

As the community mourned and began to reassemble the pieces of their shattered lives, the City of Moore made a decision: They would rebuild the school that was at the center of the town’s collective sorrow.

Now, more than a year later, Plaza Towers Elementary School is set to reopen next month, starting a new chapter in the school’s history. According the KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City, a memorial for the seven students that lost their lives in the tornado is also under construction. The memorial will also commemorate the heroism of many of Moore’s residents in the immediate aftermath of the storm. reports Plaza Towers and Briarwood Elementary School (the second school that sustained heavy damage) will have “safe areas” to accommodate all students and staff in the event another tornado threatens Moore. The shelters will be FEMA rated, which means they’re build to withstand up to 250-mph winds — well north of the EF-5 threshold of 200-mph.

While the school were being rebuilt, classes were being held at other campuses in the district.

Moore’s school year is set to start on August 19.

Meteorologist Alan Raymond

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