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Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the Parkland mass shooting site, to be torn down next year

FORT LAUDERDALE -- Broward County Public School officials said Thursday that they plan to demolish Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history, next summer.

In a written statement, administrators suggested that they wanted to make sure that all protocols were being followed before they tear the building down.

The 1200 building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Friday, June 30, 2023. (Carline Jean/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images) Sun Sentinel

"We understand the urgency of this matter, but it is essential to prioritize safety above all else," the district 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. As we continue to heal, we remain steadfast in our commitment to supporting the Marjory Stoneman Douglas community and will provide updates as information becomes available."

Nikolas Cruz was sentenced to serve life in prison last year after he was convicted of using an AR-15 rifle to kill 14 students and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018.

In July, parents and relatives of the victims toured the site, which has been shuttered ever since the tragedy occurred.

And last month, gunfire erupted again at the school as part of a reenactment connected to a lawsuit by the victims' families and the wounded that accuses the Broward County deputy assigned to the school, Scot Peterson, of failing in his duty to protect them and their loved ones. Peterson, who was acquitted at a criminal trial in June, has said that because of echoes he could not pinpoint the shooter's location.

District officials said the demolition is scheduled to occur in the summer of 2024 immediately after the end of the 2023/2024 school year.

Broward County Public Schools decided on that timeline in consultation with health and safety experts, and out of concern for the
well-being of students and staff on campus, officials said.

Officials have not yet publicly said what they plan to do with the site although there has been speculation that a memorial would be erected on the site.

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