Fruitport High School in Michigan is being considered a sign of the future. It is undergoing a $48 millionconstruction project that will add curved hallways to reduce a gunman’s bullet range, jutting barriers to provide cover and egress and spaced classrooms that can lock on demand and hide students in the corner, out of a killer’s sight.
It makes horrifyingly perfect sense, The Washington Post reports. The original idea came from World War I, when engineers dug into the earth making S-shaped trenches so that enemy soldiers could not shoot in a straight line. All doors can be locked from the front office and film has been applied to glass to keep it from shattering. The construction at Fruitport High School will finish in 2021.
“If I go to FPH and I want to be an active shooter, I’m going in knowing I have reduced sightlines,” Fruitport Superintendent Bob Szymoniak told The Washington Post about the curved hallways. “It has reduced his ability to do harm.”
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The changes to the Fruitport High School come directly because of the recent mass shootings in the U.S., including the El Paso murders a few weeks ago along with other shootings in the past: Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
Szymoniak told The Post that they are preparing for the future.
In 2018, there were 24 school shootings in which there were injuries or deaths. More than 228,000 students have been exposed to gun violence during school hours since the 1999 Columbine High School slayings, an analysis by The Post concluded.
That’s not the only ways that schools have been preparing.
Jefferson County schools in Colorado have given teachers buckets and cat litter in case children need to use the bathroom during a prolonged active-shooter lockdown. This year, bulletproof backpacks are a hot back-to-school item.
“When we open it, it will be the most secure high school building in the state,” Szymoniak said.