Columbine High School shooting | Where
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Columbine High School: It's a name that will mark history forever. Located in the Columbine region of Colorado (not Littleton as has been widely reported), there has been some local sentiment to have the school closed forever. Other residents have pushed back against the idea, not wanting their beloved campus destroyed due to the tragic shooting. To them, it felt like the shooters would "win" if the school were torn down. Ultimately, though badly damaged by gunfire the school wasn't closed permanently.

Eric Harris shoots out the library windows of Columbine High School
Back in the summer of 1995, Columbine got a $15 million dollar makeover, just in time to greet Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the shooters who would in just four years force it to undergo another major renovation. August 16th, 1999 the high school reopened its doors resuming classes as normal in the fall following the massacre.

Columbine High welcomed back an enthusiastic student body, including several students who had been injured in the bloody rampage; they returned in wheelchairs and on crutches with big smiles for the cameras that flocked to the scene. Some of the kids who were injured never returned to Columbine, too traumatized to ever go back again.

Thoroughly remodeled, great care was taken to insure that the areas where the rampage took place no longer resembled the old Columbine at all. This was met with mixed reactions from students who attended the school after 4-20-1999. Some liked the changes while others missed the old school.

The library where the most deaths occurred was completely walled over with a bank of new lockers and a new library was built later by the charitable group HOPE (offsite link) into an open-air two-story atrium, painted in nature's colors. The new library was built atop the grassy knoll where Rachel Scott was killed and Richard Castaldo was critically injured during the massacre. The construction was belaboured by financial setbacks but was eventually completed and is in use today.

Eric's and Dylan and Eric's lockers were painted over and renumbered into anonymity, randomly reassigned to new students. Some debate was given by school authorities to seal up the lockers permanently but it was decided that would send the wrong message.

Students escape Columbine High School
Those who were lucky enough to escape without injury were shuttled off to Leawood Elementary where their anxious families waited for them. The injured victims were triaged on-scene at the time in a cul-de-sac near the school before being loaded into ambulances and police units to be shipped to whatever hospitals had room for them. The survivors were released at intervals though those who suffered the worst traumas (head and spine injuries) may never fully recover from their various life-threatening injuries.

To prevent grave tampering, Dylan Klebold's family had his body cremated (offsite link) and his funeral was presided over by the Klebolds' former pastor, Don Marxhausen (offsite link). You can read the eulogy here (archived offsite link). Marxhausen later left the church partly due to pressure from the congregation, who objected to Dylan's funeral being held there. It's rumored that Eric Harris was cremated as well, though there's no evidence of what became of his body after it was returned to his family.

Funerals were held at churches all over the city in rapid succession, some in pairs, and the victims who died were laid to rest in various cemeteries in the area and abroad. Impromptu memorials cropped up all over Littleton honoring those who died, including a huge one at Clement Park across the street from the school and at the school itself as well. Permanent memorials were established eventually and some are still in the works, such as the Columbine Memorial project (offsite link).