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Demolition begins on site of Parkland High School massacre


Community members watch the building demolition Associated Press/Photo by Wilfredo Lee

Demolition begins on site of Parkland High School massacre

A large excavator tore into the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s 1200 building on Friday morning, where 17 people were killed in the Parkland massacre. A 19-year-old gunman murdered 14 students and three adults in the 2018 attack. Survivors, teachers, and staff watched from about 100 yards away, and victims' families were given the chance to hammer off a piece of the building.

What’s the demolition process like? The building has been untouched since the shooting. Crews are expected to demolish the facility from the top down, according to Broward County Public Schools. Authorities expect the mechanical demolition technique, used in lieu of implosion, to take several weeks to complete.

What’s the public reaction? Lori Alhadeff, mother to 14-year-old victim Alyssa Alhadeff, told The Associated Press that the moment the crane struck the building, she felt her grief rise up, but she knew that was an unfortunate part of the healing process. The building has been a symbol of failure and many in the community are happy to see it go, said Tony Montalto, father to 14-year-old victim Gina Montalto, speaking to CNN. The demolition puts a period at the end of the story, said Dylan Persaud, a student at the time of the shooting who spoke to The Associated Press.

What will the space be used for? Officials have not said what is planned for the site, only that they intend to finish the removal before students return to campus in August. Community members and survivors have suggested memorials to honor the 17 victims.

Dig deeper: Read Josh Schumacher’s report on the Parkland school shooter’s court sentencing in 2022.



Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.


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