Santa Fe ISD Considers Renovations After School Shooting

"If I can't look my child in the eye and tell her she's going to be safe, she's not coming back."

Santa Fe High School is considering security measures and renovation proposals amid parent demands for changes following a mass shooting that killed 10 people.

Parents and Santa Fe Independent School District officials discussed safety changes Monday at the first regular board meeting since the May 18 massacre at Santa Fe High School. A 17-year-old suspected gunman faces capital murder charges.

"If I can't look my child in the eye and tell her she's going to be safe, she's not coming back," said Kendra Hammond, a parent among more than 100 in attendance.

District officials said they'll consider using reserve funds to add safety upgrades before students return Aug. 21, the Houston Chronicle reported. Proposed ideas include securing the perimeter with fencing and adding security doors that could be raised in an emergency.

Two art rooms where the shooting began may also be converted into storage or office space so students don't have to re-enter the area.

The options for school upgrades presented by Cre8 Architects range from about $322,500 to $585,000. The Houston design and planning firm was contacted by the district two weeks ago to improve security at the high school, said Jerry Bevel, who leads the company.

The largest changes proposed involve building a security vestibule in the school's lobby and the use of metal detectors. New floors would also line the hallways since much of the flooring was torn up or removed after the shooting.

The proposals discussed this week are part of the first in several rounds of renovations to be made at the high school, said Bob Atkins, executive director of facilities, maintenance and operations.

"Phase two is long-term solutions," Atkins said. "It may be quite radical; we may be changing a bunch of different functions."

Board President J.R. Norman said he'll hold a special meeting soon to vote on final changes.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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