ALL NEWS

Officials abandon idea of demolishing Columbine High School

Jul 26, 2019, 6:27 PM
FIE - In this April 17, 2019, file photo, a police officer walks to the front doors of Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., where two students killed 12 classmates and a teacher in 1999. The Jefferson County School District has abandoned a proposal to demolish Columbine and replace it after a community survey showed strong opposition to the idea. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney, File)
(AP Photo/Joe Mahoney, File)

DENVER (AP) — A Colorado school district trying to stop people obsessed with the shooting at Columbine High School won’t demolish the building as a way to deter intruders, officials said in a letter released Wednesday.

Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Jason Glass wrote that a community survey on what to do about the high school in suburban Denver showed mixed reactions to knocking it down.
The district suggested Columbine’s demolition because of what Glass called its “inspiration” for people with a dark interest in the 1999 shooting that killed 12 students and a teacher.
Officials cited a constant presence of people trying to enter the building or being on the grounds without authorization, including a record number this year on the 20th anniversary of the shooting. This year, security staff contacted more than 2,400 “unauthorized” people on Columbine’s campus.

In April, a Florida teenager who authorities say was obsessed with the shooting and may have been planning an attack in Colorado just ahead of the 20th anniversary was found dead in an apparent suicide.

A search for the teen prompted officials to close public schools throughout the Denver area.

Glass said Wednesday that the district will create a better-defined perimeter around the school to deter intruders and increase student privacy, among other measures.

While Columbine “is now arguably one of the safest schools in the world, the ‘unauthorized individuals’ problem at the school must be addressed,” Glass said, adding, “it is our goal to create a classic and stately appearance for the school that the community will be proud of.”

Supporters and alumni of Columbine, named after Colorado’s state flower, argued that destroying the building would mean capitulating to the killers.

One notable exception was Frank DeAngelis, the school’s principal in 1999, who opposed demolishing after the shooting but changed his mind after years of coping with unwanted visitors. He retired in 2014.

“I think if we would have known or projected what was going to happen, we may have had a different discussion about going back into the building,” DeAngelis told The Associated Press in June.

The online survey assessed community support for a ballot measure earmarking $60 million to $70 million for a Columbine construction project. Roughly 57% of 6,962 respondents said they felt negative about the proposal and 60% said they would likely vote against a bond measure.

Opposition to the idea was stronger from respondents in Littleton, where Columbine is located. Only 33% said they might support the rebuilding, while 64% looked negatively on the idea. Similar percentages there said they would vote for or against a bond.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Image of the fatal crash in San Juan County (Photo courtesy of Utah Department of Public Safety)...
Chandler Holt

San Juan county crash leaves one dead, one injured

Police responded to reports of a crash on SR-162 near Montezuma Creek at around 5 p.m. on Saturday. One of the vehicles crossed the center line of the highway, causing the head-on collision.
23 hours ago
President Joe Biden. He will visit Israel and Saudi Arabia in July....
Donald Judd, CNN

Biden signs bipartisan gun safety bill into law: ‘God willing, it’s going to save a lot of lives’

President Joe Biden on Saturday signed into law the first major federal gun safety legislation passed in decades, marking a significant bipartisan breakthrough on one of the most contentious policy issues in Washington.
2 days ago
Protesters hold signs and chant at the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, June 24, 2022, as ...
Martha Harris

Utah’s trigger law will ban most abortions

Some health and legal experts in Utah are struggling to determine what exceptions to an abortion ban in the state actually mean.
3 days ago
From left, Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of C...
ALAN FRAM Associated Press

Congress sends landmark gun violence compromise to Biden

The bill that passed the House on Friday is a compromise that illustrates progress on the issue and the deep-seated divide that persists.
3 days ago
President Joe Biden speaks at the White House in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022, after the Supre...
CHRIS MEGERIAN and ZEKE MILLER

Biden calls abortion ruling ‘a sad day’ for country

He said the court has done what it's never done before in taking away a constitutional right that is so fundamental to so many Americans.
3 days ago
downtown slc general conference temple square...
Simone Seikaly

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reacts to Roe v. Wade

SALT LAKE CITY — Leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have responded to the Supreme Court decision on Friday that overturned Roe v. Wade. Their statement began by reasserting a belief in the sanctity of human life. It also listed possible exceptions for members who may seek an abortion, which include […]
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Officials abandon idea of demolishing Columbine High School