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It's a sad yet seemingly inevitable day when a high school is redesigning its campus to minimize casualties in the case of a mass shooting.
The town of Fruitport, Michigan has spent $48 million on a high school project meant to safeguard the lives of its pupils and teachers alike. The school has a capacity of 850 students.
Are the days of spending money on new computers and libraries in schools gone?
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Curved hallways and extra walls for protection
Focusing on maximizing features that could save lives in the unfortunate occurrence of a mass shooting in the school, simple yet effective measures have been taken.
The school's designers have included curved hallways to shorten a potential shooter's aim and line of sight. The school also has 'shadow zones,' which are oversized cement wing walls behind which around 30 people could hide safely if needs be.
Michigan state police have offered a grant for an impact-resistant film on the windows and glasses in the building, offering more protection if a shooter were aiming at people in classrooms.
A specialized alarm and lockdown system that localizes and isolates the shooter by locking them into a section of the school has been added.
Fruitport Superintendent Bob Szymoniak said, "This building will be the safest, most secure building in the state of Michigan when it opens."
Construction is due to be completed by 2021 according to Szymoniak.
I spent time last week in Fruitport, MI where they’re building a new high school with design elements to deter an active shooter. As I said to Lester, it’s hard to process as a parent of high schoolers.https://t.co/xBPpz99SDs— Kate Snow (@tvkatesnow) September 3, 2019
Mass shootings in the U.S.
The news has been peppered with horrific details of mass shootings in the U.S. With these new measures in place, at least in Fruitport, the hope is that victim numbers would be minimized.
Szymoniak said, "I don’t want to have to have these conversations. I don’t want to have to worry about having a school designed to prevent an active shooter."
Preventative measures can only be commended.