Building design critical to prevent school shootings

Safety must be balanced with welcoming environment.

October 24, 2018 |

There are many strategies to prevent school shootings and to keep children safe during the school day, and building design is a key issue.

Some states are mandating that school design have input from public safety officials. Since June 2017, district and charter school officials in Nevada have been required to consult with law enforcement or emergency management before constructing, expanding, or remodeling schools.

New schools tend to have shapes and layout that set boundaries for the students in each school without making it too difficult to move around the building. Security features don’t have to create a prison-like environment to be effective.

For instance, one renovation project of a 1970s brutalist, concrete school added plenty of natural light, while reducing entrance points for more effective monitoring of those entering and exiting. The project also integrated alarms and a public address system to reach all classrooms, offices, and hallways.

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