The future design of American schools is rapidly shifting to protect students from mass shooters.
A $48 million construction project at Fruitport High School, located in Fruitport, MI., will feature curved hallways to reduce a gunman’s line of sight.
Engineers designed “jutting barriers to provide cover and egress, and meticulously spaced classrooms that can lock on-demand and hide students in the corner, out of a killer’s sight,” reported The Washington Post.
Fruitport Superintendent Bob Szymoniak told The Post that curved hallways in the school would reduce causalities of students and teachers if a shooter enters the facility.
The overall layout of the new high school was designed with the history of America’s mass school shootings in mind, that has left countless children dead over the years. Szymoniak cited the recent El Paso killings at a Walmart, shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
The construction at Fruitport is a new reality for the future of schools across the country. These designs are radically shifting schools into highly secured facilities, and even into prison-like buildings.
Parents have also been preparing for this new reality, they’re buying record amounts of bulletproof clothing and backpacks in the last several years because they fear a shooter could enter their child’s school at any time.
“I don’t know if this is the new normal, but it certainly gives cause of concern,” Szymoniak said. He said other features in the school would include bulletproof glass in classrooms and doors that can automatically be locked from the front office.
Each classroom was built with a “shadow zone” where a gunman won’t be able to see children cowering along a side wall, said Matt Slagle, the architect on the project.
Slagle said some features, such as electronic locks, bulletproof glass, and hiding areas, would make it more challenging for a shooter to kill students more aimlessly.
“Unfortunately, that’s the way things are now,” Slagle said, describing mass shootings.
“We’ll never make it completely safe from someone who desires to cause harm.”
Fruitport High School is expected to open in 2021, Szymoniak said. “When we open it, it will be the most secure high school building in the state,” he said.
The era of designing fun-loving schools is over. The new designs nowadays, as seen by Fruitport High School, will include new features that limit casualties in an active shooter situation.