More than 20 years after 13 people were killed in a shooting at Columbine High School, officials are considering tearing down the building they say has served "as a macabre source of inspiration and motivation" for future school shooters.
The idea was floated on Thursday in an open letter from the superintendent of Jefferson County public schools, Jason Glass, to Columbine staff, students, parents and members of the surrounding Denver suburb of Littleton, Colorado.
The school would also continue to be called Columbine High School, "honoring the pride and spirit the community has with the name", Glass wrote, according to Reuters.
In the message, he said that the "lasting impact" of the Columbine massacre on actual or would-be shooters "only seems to be growing" - and shared several examples.
He cited an uptick over the past year in the number of people trying to enter the school illegally and the recent incident involving Sol Pais. Witkowski graduated from Columbine High School in 1988 and watched her son, Cory, graduate from the school in 2011, before he passed away in 2016.
DeAngelis, the former principal, said he's in support of a new building if it'll alleviate some fear.
Almost 20 school districts in Colorado also shut down in April after officials were concerned about Florida teen Sol Pais potentially shooting up a school.
Glass outlined a few potential directions the project could go, which includes retaining the Columbine High School name, mascot and colors intact; building the new school nearby, just west of the current location; making the Hope Library the new building's cornerstone, and planting fields at the site of the existing building, maintaining "controlled entry points".
So-called "Columbiners" are drawn to the high school for inspiration.
"We are in the very preliminary and exploratory stages of these conversations, and we are seeking community feedback and thoughts on this proposal", Glass said in the letter. "It's time we decide if we're going to do something different".
"On one hand, the school is old and a new building would be great", Bray said in a text message.
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Fifteen people were killed in the Columbine rampage, which at the time ranked as the deadliest school shooting in USA history.
Coni Sanders, the daughter of Dave Sanders, who died securing as much of the school as he could during the onslaught, said she was upset about learning of the proposal from news reports.
In that sense, Miller said it would be hard to say good-bye to a place that is significant to the community as a whole.
"Over the years most have been sensitive to informing us".
"I think what people need to do is sit back and look at all the rationale", DeAngelis said.
"I hate it", Will Beck, a survivor, told CNN. But, he could understand why a school would make such a choice. And I think that's what Dr.
Columbine High School now has a nearby memorial featuring remembrances about the victims and a wall of quotations from community members.
Voters already approved a measure in 2018 where $15 million would go toward renovating Columbine.
Sandy Hook Elementary School in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, was torn down after Adam Lanza killed 20 students and six teachers in December 2012.
Police vehicles are stationed outside the school following the shooting at the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, U.S., May 8, 2019.