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June 14, 2013

El Reno Canadian Valley still recovering after twister

EL RENO —

Nearly three weeks to the day, Canadian Valley Technology Center (CVTC) students and staff continue a process of recovery after an EF-5 struck their El Reno campus causing irreparable damage. 

The series of storms striking Oklahoma this spring has been undoubtedly heartbreaking, but resilient spirits have band together across the state in an effort to rebuild. 

Dr. Greg Winters, superintendent of CVTC, focuses on maintaining a positive attitude for not only himself, but also those he leads.

“I absolutely feel fortunate,” Winters said. “It was devastating and tough, and I think we went into shock at first but we dealt with it. My senior staff has done an incredible job, they are my heroes through all of this.”

He said, in his approximation, only five percent of the campus in El Reno is salvageable.

“We will get back in to the west end, the business and services wing, about the middle of August,” Winters said. “A lot of the center is going to have to be demolished down to concrete columns and roof decks. The rest of it, about seven or eight buildings, will be bulldozed completely.”

“It may sound crazy, but this is how I’ve looked at it: OK, we were dealt a tough blow, we have been very professional and methodical about it, and now we get an opportunity to go back in and redesign a 2015 technical training center instead of attempting to remodel a 1970 building. We will be able to design a building that meets the needs of today — equipped with safe rooms. I want to be able to design the safest center for our staff and students.”

As of now, students are traveling to various places to continue courses. Winters is thankful for the accommodations that have been made for his students due to the help of the community.

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