It is an eye-opener when you have a high school redesigning its campus for the sake of minimizing casualties in case a mass shooting was to take place in it. The town of Fruitport, Michigan, has spent a total of $48 million on a high school project that is aimed at safeguarding the lives of its pupils and teachers. The high school has a capacity of 850 students.
Such news really makes us wonder if the days when money was spent on new computers and libraries, truly gone? The redesigning is focused on improving features and adding new ones that could prove beneficial in case of a mass shooting incident at school. It has incorporated simple yet quite effective measures.
The school designers have come up with curved hallways so that the aim and line of sight of a potential shooter could be shortened. The school has also incorporated shadow zones – oversized cement wing walls behind which about 30 people can hide safely if the situation warrants such an action. Michigan state police have also offered a grant for a film on windows and glasses in the high school that is impact-resistant. This imparts more protection against the shooter who might be aiming at people who are in the classrooms.
A specialized alarm and lockdown system have also been installed in the high school. It will help in localizing and isolating the shooter by having them locked into a section of the school. Fruitport Superintendent Bob Szymoniak said, ‘This building will be the safest, most secure building in the state of Michigan when it opens.’ As per Szymoniak, the construction is slated to be completed by 2021. The news of this high school redesigning comes amidst horrific incidents of mass shootings in the US. However, it is being hoped that with such measures; the number of victims could be significantly minimized in this particular high school.
Szymoniak further said, ‘I don’t want to have these conversations. I don’t want to have to worry about having a school designed to prevent an active shooter.’