Columbine High School, the site of one of America’s most notorious school shootings, may be demolished because it remains a scene of “morbid fascination”.
Two teenagers walked into the Colorado high school and shot dead 12 students and a teacher in April 1999.
But two decades on, local authorities have proposed tearing down and rebuilding the school because the building has remained “a source of inspiration” for people with a dark interest in the shooting
Jason Glass, the Jefferson County School District superintendent, wrote to parents saying people use Columbine as “a macabre source of inspiration”.
Hundreds of people try to enter the school every year, with the number growing to “record levels” in the past 11 months as the 20th anniversary approached, he said.
Mr Glass highlighted the most recent high-profile incident – when a Florida teenager infatuated with the massacre travelled to the area in April and made threats to local schools before taking her own life.
“In 1999, no guidance existed on what to do with a building such as Columbine High School,” his letter stated.
“Today school safety experts recommend tearing down buildings where school shootings take place.
“Since the morbid fascination with Columbine has been increasing over the years, we believe it is time for our community to consider this option for the existing Columbine building.”
The school district also released an online survey to gauge community support for a measure earmarking $60 to $70 million for a Columbine reconstruction project.
Some early ideas include preserving the library, built after the 1999 shooting, and incorporating it into a new school building.