Florida lawmakers decided on Feb. 15 to provide the resources needed to demolish the building on the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School campus where a teenager murdered 17 students.
“This building has to come down,” Sen. Bill Galvano told the Miami Herald.
Sen. Galvano, Sen. Lauren Book, and Sen. Wilton Simpson visited the school to see—and feel—for themselves the emotional impact of the scene.
“These kids are not going to go back into that building ever again,” said Sen. Book. She had arranged the trip and encouraged the others to join her.
After visiting the school, the legislators attended a vigil held to honor the murdered students.
“Everything was strewn across the halls from people running and dodging and there were significant blood splatters on the wall,” Galvano said after entering the school building turned slaughterhouse.
Galvano said he understood that returning to any part of the campus would be hard for traumatized students, but asking students to take classes in classrooms where their friends had died was far too much.
“It will still be very difficult for students to return,” Galvano told the Herald. “But that particular building should be razed, and the memory of the perpetrator erased and a memorial honoring the victims and their families be put in its place.”
Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie spoke to the Miami Herald on Friday afternoon.
“Parents and students have told me very clearly they’re not going to go back into that building and I believe they’re right,” he said.
“In an ideal world there would be sufficient funding to do a replacement building at a different site on the campus and then erect a memorial on that location.”
Sen. Simpson said that it would cost $25 million to $30 million dollars to do the job, but that shouldn’t be the deciding factor.
“We need to take a serious look at tearing down that building and build a facility that these kids could return to and be proud of,” Simpson told the Herald Friday.