FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The building where 14 students and three faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were murdered in 2018 will be demolished next year.
Demolition of the 1200 building is scheduled to take place in the summer of 2024, immediately after the current school year ends, Broward County Public Schools announced Thursday.
The decision was made "in consultation with health and safety experts, and out of concern for the well-being of students and staff on campus."
Although the crime occurred more than five years ago, the building has stood for as long as it has to preserve the crime scene during the sentencing trial for convicted shooter Nikolas Cruz.
The 1200 building is where Cruz murdered 17 people and wounded another 17 on Valentine's Day in 2018.
"We understand the urgency of this matter, but it is essential to prioritize safety above all else," school district spokesman John Sullivan said. "In preparation for the demolition, crews will clean and clear the building, adhering to state and the Environmental Protection Agency's landfill disposal regulations."
Just last month, family members of the victims were allowed to tour the building and collect their loved one's belongings.
A reenactment of the shooting also took place in August as part of a lawsuit by the victims' families and wounded that accuses school resource Deputy Scot Peterson of failing in his duty to protect them.
Peterson was acquitted of felony child neglect and other criminal charges in June.
"We are thankful to the students, parents and staff of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, as well as the Parkland community, for their patience and understanding," Sullivan said.