Rising Fascination With Columbine High Leads to Proposal

School district floats the idea of tearing it down
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2019 8:26 AM CDT
Columbine High School Could Be Demolished
A patrol car is parked in front of Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., on April 17, 2019.   (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney, File)

As the 20th anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School approached this spring, the tension in Littleton, Colo., was palpable—not least because an armed woman obsessed with the event was known to be in the area. Each year, police and school officials "make contacts with hundreds of individuals seeking to enter the school and reconnect with the 1999 murders"—and the "morbid fascination" with the school has only been rising "rather than dissipating," says the superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools, which is exactly why he thinks the school should be torn down. Jason Glass lays out his idea in an open letter shared Thursday, noting voters would need to approve $60 million to $70 million for demolition and the construction of a new school, per Reuters.

It would still be called Columbine High School—"honoring the pride and spirit the community has with the name"—but it would be located just west of the current site, which would be transformed into fields, Glass says, per CNN. He notes public education officials are in the early stages of discussing the proposal and seeking public feedback. Columbine's principal at the time of the shooting is on board. "We never imagined that there would be people so infatuated with this tragedy years later," Frank DeAngelis tells Reuters. "Maybe moving the physical plant would alleviate some of the issues." A survivor has a different reaction, per CNN. "Even though something bad happened there, it is a special place to me," says Will Beck. "It'd be devastating to lose it." (More Columbine school shooting stories.)

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