PARKLAND, Fla. – Broward County officials said on Thursday that Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s new 45,000-square-foot building will be completed in August, so students will be able to abandon the temporary portable classrooms they are using now.
School Board member Lori Alhadeff, a former teacher, lost her 14-year-old daughter Alyssa in the 2018 Valentine’s Day shooting in the school’s 1200 building. Alyssa was shot 10 times, while in her English class when a former student armed with an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle fired through a window.
The opening of the new two-story building is “one more step we are taking to heal, to move forward,” Alhadeff said, adding that the area will have “a very peaceful, tranquil, water feature with possibly an eagle, representing, overlooking the safety of this building.”
Since the world learned of her grief -- after she vented on CNN -- Alhadeff co-founded a nonprofit, Make Our Schools Safe, participated in the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C., and was elected to the Broward County school board. The construction of the building began in July and she plans to be there when it opens this summer.
Far from the James B. Pirtle Construction crews working on Zyscovich Architects’ design, the three-story building that turned into a crime scene remains closed. It won’t be demolished until the end of the trial, which starts this summer.
Broward Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said the new $18 million building will have 30 classrooms, three spaces for teachers and offices. It will also have new security features that include “controlled access points,” Runcie said.
“Our goal is to make our campus one of the safest campuses in the country,” Runcie said.