Parkland School Building Demolished More Than Six Years After Tragic Shooting

Parkland, Florida – Over six years after the devastating shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the three-story building central to the tragedy is set to be demolished, with the process beginning on Friday. The demolition is expected to span several weeks, aiming for completion before the school’s 3,300 students return to campus in August.

Due to heavy rain and flooding, the demolition had to be postponed by a day, but plans are back on track to dismantle the structure piece by piece, starting from the top floor. This process involves cleaning and clearing the building while adhering to state and Environmental Protection Agency regulations for proper disposal, with particular attention to the handling of electronics. Survivors, families of victims, teachers, and staff had the opportunity to reclaim any personal items they wished to retrieve before the building’s demolition.

Leading up to the demolition, families of the victims, public officials, and other stakeholders were given tours of the building, including prominent figures like Vice President Kamala Harris and members of Congress. These tours aimed to shed light on how enhanced safety measures, such as bullet-resistant glass and interior-locking doors, could potentially prevent future tragedies.

The decision to demolish the building has sparked differing opinions among the families of the victims, with some advocating for its removal while others see value in preserving it as a somber reminder of the need for improved safety measures. This move to take down the building follows similar actions taken after previous mass school shootings, such as at Columbine High School and Sandy Hook Elementary School.

As discussions continue on how to repurpose the space left by the demolished building, various proposals have been put forth, including suggestions for a practice field for the band and Junior ROTC in honor of the students who were actively involved in these activities. The emotional impact of the tragedy was evident during the shooter’s penalty trial, where jurors visited the building and were warned about the distressing nature of what they would witness.