Security Expert: Planned Changes to Local School Buildings is a ‘Good Start'

What to Know

  • Seventeen people were shot dead Feb. 14 during a shooting at a school in Parkland.
  • The tragedy has spurred efforts to enhance security at 'soft targets' such as schools.
  • Surviving students have pushed for gun reform to prevent similar shootings from occurring.

A lot of parents are taking a look at their child’s school to see what’s being done to protect kids and what security improvements can be made to make them safer in light of the recent mass shooting in Parkland.

In Broward County, voters passed a “Smart Futures” bond back in 2014. It’s an 800 million dollar project to make improvements to all public schools in the county.

NBC 6 went through the files, school by school, and found the school system is spending a majority of the bond money on renovating school buildings.

Starting next year, Marjory Stoneman Douglas high, where the shooting happened, will be receiving new windows and a new air conditioning system. The only bond money scheduled to be spent on security is for a new fire alarm system for the building.

“They have good intentions and they’re doing the best they can with the resources provided to them,” said Randy Atlas, of Atlas Safety and Security Design of Fort Lauderdale. It’s Atlas’s job to plan and design buildings to prevent mass tragedies from happening.

NBC 6 found money for security at Broward schools, in most cases, is being spent on a new main entrance. Dozens of schools from Coconut Creek High School to Banyan Elementary are getting one. The school system is designing a single entryway that all students and visitors must enter. Atlas said, it’s a good start.

“The front door is a critical security component, it needs to be break resistant it may or may not need to be bullet resistance,” said Atlas.

Many of the bond improvements will be taking place over the next three years.

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