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Stoneman Douglas to get portable classrooms to replace those lost after shooting

Mourners bring flowers as they pay tribute at a memorial for the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018 during an open house as parents and students returned to the school for the first time since 17 people were killed in a mass shooting at the school in Parkland on Feb. 14, 2018. (David Santiago/Miami Herald/TNS)
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Marjory Stoneman Douglas High should start receiving portables this summer to replace the 25 lost classrooms as a result of the Feb.14 massacre.

Superintendent Robert Runcie told the School Board on Tuesday the first classrooms should start arriving July 18. He said “most if not all” should be on campus by the time teachers return Aug. 8. Students return Aug. 15.

However, he said not all may be connected to utilities, and he’s still trying to expedite the matter with the vendor, California-based Mobile Modular Management Corp.

The School Board approved a $2.5 million contract last week with Mobile Modular to install 34 portables at Stoneman Douglas and eight at overcrowded Cypress Bay High in Weston. Stoneman Douglas is expected to receive 30 classroom portables, two restroom portables and two portables for counseling and teacher office space.

The school district received $25 million from the state to tear down and rebuild the three-story 1200 building, which was the site of the shooting. The building is still a crime scene and can’t be demolished until the trial is over for admitted killer Nikolas Cruz, school district officials say. That won’t delay construction of the new building, which is expected to be complete in about two years on another part of campus, officials say.

The portables are scheduled to be installed on the site of the school’s basketball courts.

District officials initially said the portables were unlikely to arrive before the school year. But after complaints by teachers and alumni, officials worked to accelerate the timetable.

Since the shooting, displaced teachers have had to share classrooms with other teachers and instruct in offices and the auditorium.

“Those who were in the 1200 building, they’re going through a tremendous amount of trauma,” Runcie said. “The (teachers) are further impacted by not having any stability, moving around classroom to classroom in carts.”

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© 2018 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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