Columbine High School won't be torn down and rebuilt due to lack of 'sufficient support': officials

Columbine High School won't be torn down and rebuilt due to lack of 'sufficient support': officials

Columbine High School officials won’t pursue a proposal to tear down and rebuild the school due to a lack of “sufficient support,” the district said. 

In a Wednesday letter to the Jefferson County Schools community, Superintendent Jason Glass said after asking community members in a survey if they think the Colorado school should be demolished, the “emotional and complex” discussion produced “valid concerns” and “no consensus” in the direction of rebuilding the school.

“While this concept has supporters and merits, there are also valid concerns that were raised,” Glass wrote. “It is clear to me that no consensus direction exists to rebuild the school.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Of the nearly 7,000 people surveyed, nearly 60 percent opposed the idea, saying they likely wouldn’t vote for a bond needed to fund the $70 million project. Most of the people who said they would likely vote in favor of the proposal were either district employees or a current parent of a student in the district, the survey said.

Others have brought up concerns about the plan’s cost and the effects it would have on the community. One survey respondent said rebuilding “is not a good use of taxpayer dollars because it is not needed and other less expensive alternatives are more feasible.” Another said taking down the building would “set a precedent for the future and as giving in to the shooters.”

District officials initially floated the idea due to an uptick in the “morbid fascination” people have with the site of the 1999 shooting massacre, during which two student gunmen killed 13 and injured dozens of others.

Glass flagged concerns that many shooters refer to the school's highly publicized incident as “inspiration and motivation,” with more than 100 copycat shootings having been inspired by the tragedy.

Instead of tearing down the school, Glass said the district would instead try to strengthen its perimeter to bolster security and privacy as part of a $15 million renovation.

“While Columbine High School is now arguably one of the safest schools in the world, the ‘unauthorized individuals’ problem at the school must be addressed,” Glass wrote. “We will be implementing changes to enhance the security and privacy of the site, including the creation of an improved and defined perimeter around the building.”