Fruitport High School in Michigan is currently being rebuilt with mass shootings in mind. The school has implemented a variety of designs to make the school safer for children and more difficult for a potential gunman to take lives, reported the BBC.
For starters, the hallways at Fruitport High School have been curved to impede a gunman’s vision of potential victims. Meanwhile, concrete barriers have also been inserted into hallways for children to hide behind should they be in a position to avoid bullets.
Additionally, windows were lined with impact-resistant film and doors were made so that can systematically lock meaning that school leaders can secure all doors with just the press of a button. Classrooms have also been designed to provide an area where students can hide and not be seen by a gunman looking through the window.
Fruitport High School’s superintendent, Bob Szymoniak, commented on the decision to redesign the school layout and to include security features with the idea of a mass shooting in mind, according to The Washington Post.
“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…when we open it, it will be the most secure high school building in the state.”
The superintendent also spoke about the importance of the curved hallways.
“If I go to FPH and I want to be an active shooter, I’m going in knowing I have reduced sightlines. It has reduced his ability to do harm.”
The redesign of Fruitport High School is a $48 million construction project inspired by engineers during World War I. The trenches built during the war were designed in a zig-zag pattern to prevent enemy soldiers from being able to shoot in a straight line down the length of the trench, avoiding the number of casualties.
Szymoniak believes that the new structure of the school will become more widespread throughout the country in coming years.
The decision to reconstruct the building comes after several years of ubiquitous mass shootings in the U.S., many of which have taken place in schools, such as the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
In 2018 alone, 24 school shootings occurred while more than 228,000 students have reportedly been exposed to gun violence since the notorious Columbine High School shooting in 1999.
Matt Slagle, an architect for the project, also commented on the redesign.
“Unfortunately, that’s the way things are now. We’ll never make it completely safe from someone who desires to cause harm.”