- A Florida school district will tear down the high school building that was the site of a deadly shooting.
- The Broward Schools superintendent said parents and students have overwhelmingly expressed their reluctance to ever return to the building.
- Instead, the school district will build a memorial around the site and replace the building.
The Broward County school district reportedly plans to tear down the freshman building at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were gunned down on Wednesday.
“Parents and students have resoundingly told me they can’t go back into that building regardless of what we do,” Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Friday.
He added that the building is inaccessible anyway while it’s used as evidence in the criminal case against the suspected shooter, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz.
Cruz was ordered held without bond at his first court hearing on Thursday. He’s charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
Runcie told the newspaper that the school district plans to build a memorial around the site, and that he’ll speak with lawmakers about funding a replacement building.
He added that the school district will soon announce when the rest of the campus will open, and how it intends to accommodate the some 900 students who used the building.
“Just looking at that building and talking about it now, I have goosebumps out to my head,” Runcie said. “I don’t know how teachers, students could get back in that building. I don’t even know how we’re going to open the whole campus, period.”
It’s common for school districts to tear down or overhaul buildings that were the sites of deadly shootings.
Sandy Hook Elementary School, for instance, was demolished and rebuilt at a different site after a shooter in 2012 gunned down 20 young children and six staffers.
Columbine High School, the site of the 1999 attack that killed 12 students and a teacher, underwent $US1.2 million in repairs and renovations. The high school demolished the library where many of the victims were killed and replaced it with an atrium.
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