College repairs from May 31 tornado done

May 30, 2014 Latest Print Print
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Last year’s May 31 tornado damaged areas of the OCCC campus badly enough that the college closed for 10 days. One year later, Vice President of Business and Finance John Boyd said the campus has recovered.

He predicts the total cost to the college will be about $12,500, after insurance and disaster aid is paid.

“It was primarily the areas of the Main Building that were impacted,” Boyd said. “The roof was stripped off from wind damage and then we had some areas in the Social Science Center … . There was some … glass that was blown out in the Transportation Technology Center.

“The major impact was in the Transportation Technology Center, the Main Building area and the Social Science Center,” he said.

Boyd said much of the damage was a result of high winds blowing off areas of the roof, resulting in extensive water damage. Insurance will reimburse the college for most of the costs.

“We’ve spent about $2,945,000 [on repairs],” he said. “We had damage of a little over $3.2 million, [which] was the estimated loss claim that we filed. Up to this point we’ve spent about $2.9 million and, of course, all but $100,000 will be reimbursed through insurance, because we have a $100,000 deductible.

“We’re insured through State Risk Management, through the state of Oklahoma … so we’re under that umbrella of coverage that we pay for out of our budget to State Risk Management, then State Risk Management purchases the insurance through various insurance carriers.”

Boyd said the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Oklahoma Emergency Management will cover most of the deductible.

“We also got the Emergency Management involved because this was a statewide disaster. It was a federally declared emergency, so that’s where FEMA kicked in,” he said.

“Out of that $100,000 deductible … FEMA [will] pay 75 percent of that deductible, so we receive $75,000 from FEMA,” he said. “[We received] another 12.5 percent from Oklahoma Emergency Management, so all in all … the college should only be out of pocket $12,500 for all of the damage.”

Though the tornado hit a year ago, Boyd said, it has taken much time and effort to repair all of the damages.

“We just finished … replacing all of the roofs during spring break and we’re just now in the final processes of installing the [emergency call box phones] that were destroyed by the storms, so I think it’s safe to say it took about a year.”

Boyd said he is happy with the repairs that have been made to the campus.

“[The affected facilities] are fully functional, fully operational and the damage has all been repaired,” he said. “We’re back to where we were.”

Boyd said the he feels the college is now better prepared to deal with severe weather.

“We do drills every year … so I think we adequately prepare for severe weather,” he said. “Certainly, we are better prepared for a major disaster than [what] we were.

To see photos of the past damage and what the areas look like now, turn to page 6.

For additional stories about the May 31 damage, visit the Pioneer Online at http://pioneer.occc.edu.

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