Huge Proposed Parkland Charter School Pledges Stepped-Up Security In Wake Of MSD Shooting





In the shadow of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, a developer wants to build a Parkland charter school chock-full of extra security measures such as “non-scalable” double perimeter fences and bullet proof glass.

“It will have more safety features than any school in Florida,” pledged Mike Moskowitz, the Somerset Parkland Academy’s lawyer/lobbyist.

The super safe school is seeking approval to teach 1,280 K-8th Grade students in a new two-story building at the northwest corner of University Drive and Hillsboro Boulevard.




Somerset Parkland Academy rendering



The school was rejected by City Hall in 2017 because of fears it would cause too much traffic. 

Somerset had already submitted new traffic plans before the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting on February 14. Developers withdrew the plans to increase security and resubmitted them.

The Parkland Planning and Zoning Board will discuss the new proposal on August 9.

Stepped-up safety is obviously on Parkland’s mind today.  So Somerset is trying to defuse any community opposition to the charter with its pledge.

Student safety is not a requirement in the community’s development code. Parkland’s planning staff wrote in their analysis that Somerset “proactively undertook the effort to address the safety of the school.”

One written safety pledge contained in the staff analysis: Double security fences constructed around the perimeter. The inner fence would be 6-feet high, while the outer fence would be 8-feet high and “non-scalable.”

With the exception of the two fences, the analysis is vague on the details of what else is planned.

But Moskowitz outlined for some of the other pledges his client has made:

  • Extensive video cameras covering the school entrances and exits monitored by a security guard overlooking the campus from a second-floor perch. The videos will be retained at least seven days.
  • A hardened bulletproof single point of entry access door. Visitors will be buzzed into a hardened vestibule with bulletproof glass where they will again be buzzed into a waiting room.
  • Visitors and parents can not drive onto the campus without first being buzzed through an iron access gate, also monitored by a security guard. The entrance will also contain license plate readers to open the gate for frequent visitors who registered with the school and to have another record of who enters.
  • Special separate emergency vehicle access.
  • The hallways will be built with cement walls instead of drywall. The classroom doors will be hardened. The handles will be unreachable from any glass in the doors.

“We have invested gazillions of dollars in security that we didn’t have to under the code,” Moskowitz said.

The safety steps hasn’t defused some neighborhood opponents.

“It would be ironic if a company said they were gonna build the safest school in pklnd and they were turned down,”one government official texted in response to a question.

The 98,638-square feet school and gym would be built on 10.3 vacant acres adjacent to existing single-family and townhomes and some vacant land.




Somerset Academy would be built on vacant land in the red square.


The land currently has a land use designation permitting 110,000 square feet of commercial development.  The school developers are seeking special exceptions and site plan approval. 

To handle the increase of traffic in the area, Somerset said they would start school at different times for different grades, thus staggering the arrival and departure of students.

Traffic consultants said the charter would created “intense traffic” two hours every school day, compared to “constant traffic” if the land became a commercial development.

Parkland’s staff recommended approval of the project. 

8 Responses to “Huge Proposed Parkland Charter School Pledges Stepped-Up Security In Wake Of MSD Shooting”

  1. Parent says:

    We are still waiting for the public schools to do this. Why, Mr. Runcie?

  2. Tell the Truth says:

    and if the right A/E/C is on the project, it will be open for August 2019 school year. Seriously.
    Fast track d/b by A/E that knows their stuff and tilt-up construction by a savvy GC with subs paid to show up and stay on schedule.
    Runcie’s group would take 3 years.

  3. Seldom Seen says:

    This should be immediately approved. The do-nothing School Board should watch how it is really done

  4. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    #1& #2.They both make valid points.What takes Me.Runcie so long to complete projects- ie- renovations in schools, a/c work,mold removal,remodeling.I mean it goes on and on.Just what was it back in 2014 etc Mr.Runcie was allocated over 800 mill dollars that the residents endorsed( voted for) but yet how many projects are complete.Now he needs more money.Supporting another tax increase for the homeowner.So sock it to the county( broward) residents.This bs” oh Robert its like 10bucks a month.It adds up.What about residents with no children.What about residents like myself that are renters.Yes, these security measures must be taken.The Feds should also help out.Perhaps grants from Homeland Sec etc.These are the times we live in unfortunately and tragically.Whats the answer certainly not taxing the Hell out of the residents thats for sure.Don’t get me wrong these implementations must be done concerning above reference etc, but whats concerning is its all on the backs of the residents.If Mr.Runcie wants all thse security measures that were mandated by the State then he better get out there and sell this.Maybe good thing for spending big bucks on Public Relations etc.cause Mr.Runcie although highly educated( book smart) he does poorly when trying toconvience the redidents to basically get that check book out.The Sheriff should be contributing as well.This is a law enforcement issue.So everyone should pitch in.How depressing we have to take these drastic measures to keep these students safe.This is why i am a firm believer the shooters that carry out these school massacres should receive the ultimate punishment, meaning get out old sparkey( electric chair)…

  5. JW says:

    Runcie’s hands are tied by the bureaucracy of government. These charter schools take money from the government and are there simply to MAKE $$$ while taking money from the public schools. Most assume charters are far better than public schools simply because they are marketed that way. If we invested that money in the public schools without tying their hands things would be different.

  6. Señor Sensor says:

    Is this a minimum or maximum security prison design? Several rows of razor wire should be applied to the top and bottom of the fence line. Remember it’s for the children.

  7. Sam The Sham says:

    #2 A/E/C? d/b, A/E? GC? Huh?

    The reason Runcie takes so long is that it takes an incredible amount of time to find the right contractor with the right connections and who can be creative in their kick backs.


    Actually funny!

    Let’s put the foot dragging in perspective. Construction on Interstate 595 began in July 1984. The first section was opened in 1988 and the entire 12.8-mile highway was opened 1989.

  8. Lauren Hollander says:

    Thank God we have a chance for a safer school in our community…….there is no way an elected official could consider saying no!