By Jill Fox
Whether or not students return in the fall, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s new 30-classroom, two-story building will be ready for them.
On June 22, Broward County Public Schools sent parents a construction update, stating that crews on-site had made consistent progress, and the project will be completed in July — just under a year since breaking ground.
Despite the campus being unoccupied since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, construction moved forward, ensuring the new addition was ready for when students and teachers return to campus in the fall.
In June of 2018, the State set aside $25 million to replace Building 12 — the site of the February 14, 2018, school shooting.
Because Building 12 will be used for evidentiary purposes under an order from the State Attorney’s Office, it cannot be destroyed until Nikolas Cruz’s trial takes place.
Until then, the building, which once housed 900 students, continues to be surrounded by a 12-foot-fence surrounded by a scenic backdrop.
The new building is located on the south side of the high school and seen from the Sawgrass Expressway. At a cost of $18 million, it is just under 45,000 square feet and boasts hurricane impact-resistant windows and motion sensor lighting in the classrooms, among other features.
In addition to completing the new building over the summer, crews will also dismantle the 34 portable classrooms installed in the fall of 2018. The school’s basketball courts, which were used for the temporary classrooms, will be restored once the removal process is complete.
Other building improvements and renovations, such as the art room, music room, and fire alarm upgrades will begin by December 2020.
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