School building where Parkland massacre happened will be demolished

The school building in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were fatally shot in a 2018 massacre will be demolished next summer, officials said Thursday. 

The long-awaited destruction of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s 1200 building is scheduled to take place immediately after the end of the school year, Broward County Public Schools said in a statement. 

“We understand the urgency of this matter, but it is essential to prioritize safety above all else,” the school board said. “In preparation for the demolition, crews will clean and clear the building, adhering to state and the Environmental Protection Agency’s landfill disposal regulations.”

Classes on the school campus resumed years ago, while the blood-stained and bullet-riddled building remained untouched and closed off since the shooting on Feb. 14, 2018. 

Members of the community have been calling for its demolition for years, but prosecutors said they needed to preserve it for the murder trial of the shooter. 

During the trial last year, jurors took a tour of the three-story school building where the 14 students and three staff members were gunned down. Members of Congress visited the building with families of the victims August.

One parent who lost his son in the shooting said on X: “It’s been very painful driving by the site of the Parkland school shooting for the last 5 1/2 years knowing that’s where Alex took his last breath. I look forward to the day when there will be a beautiful memorial in its place commemorating the 17 beautiful people murdered Valentine’s Day 2018.”

The school board did not say what it plans to do with the land once the building is gone. 

In 2021, former student Nikolas Cruz pleaded guilty to murdering 17 people and wounding 17 others with an AR-15-style semi automatic rifle on the campus. He was sentenced to life in prison in 2022.