Marietta school bond passes to go towards saferoom

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MARIETTA, OK -- Safety and severe weather preparation was a top priority for Marietta residents as they headed to the polls yesterday.

Ninety percent of Marietta voters said "yes" to the more than $900,000 school bond Tuesday night. It'll pay for a new safe room for students.
Parents and teachers say, you can't put a price on childrens' safety.

"Where do we take the kids? There's either a closet or there's a hallway or there's a classroom that has windows and it's very scary because you're like what if something really disastrous happens? Where can we put these kids and keep them safe?" Asks Courtney Starsick, who's the parent of a Marietta 3rd grader, but she's also the elementary music teacher.
She says for years, she's been concerned about the lack of a safe room. Now, she can breathe a sigh of relief.

Starsick said, "It's very comforting to know that they have a place to go that they're going to be safe."

"I really think with the scare last year, with the Moore tornadoes coming through, that it just kind of heightened the awareness," said primary school prinicpal, Ann Rutlege. She says the high school uses their basement as a saferoom. And this saferoom will serve kindergarten through 8th grade.

Rutlege said, "It will actually house between 900 and 950. The plan is for it to house primary, upper elementary, and the middle school students as well."

Rutlege says along with the saferoom, two new classrooms will also be built. She says the passage of the bond could mean a tax increase of up to 10 percent for residents in the Marietta school district, but that didn't stop voters.

Starsick said, "I think it's amazing that we had such a good turn-out and that so many people are willing to help their community and especially keep their children and students safe."

"They always support us in every matter that we put out there and we're very grateful that we do have such a close-knit community," said Rutlege.

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