School District May Tear Down Building Where Florida School Shooting Took Place

The Broward County school district proposed demolishing the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School freshman building, where 14 students and three teachers were killed in the deadliest school shooting in Florida history.

Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that parents and students told him it will be impossible for them to go back into that building.

“Parents and students have resoundingly told me they can’t go back into that building regardless of what we do,” Runcie explained. “The other piece I heard is that that building will be used as evidence in any type of legal process that goes forward, so we won’t be able to access the building for a while anyway.”

Any proposal would need the approval of the state and school board, plus additional funding. Part of the plan will include building a memorial near the current site of the three-story building.

The school has remained closed since the shooting on Wednesday, and Runcie said the district will announce plans to resume classes this weekend.

The freshman building was used by 900 students, and the rest of the school is already at capacity. Parkland is also a growing community, so other schools in the district are already full or overpopulated.

Runcie said he has been inside the building since the shooting, with School Board members Robin Bartleman and Donna Korn.

“The three of us just wanted to hold hands and say a prayer. Just looking at that building and talking about it now, I have goosebumps out to my head,” Runcie told the Sun Sentinel.“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.”

This would not be the first time a school has been torn down after a mass shooting. In 2013, the Newtown, Connecticut community voted to tear down the Sandy Hook Elementary School building, where 26 people, including 20 children, were killed in December 2012. In January 2014, the demolition was completed. A $50 million new Sandy Hook school was built in its place.

On Wednesday afternoon, Nikolas Cruz, a former student at Stoneman Douglas, opened fire. He has confessed to the shooting and was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.