JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – On Wednesday afternoon, just a few hours after JeffCo Public Schools decided not to move forward with plans to rebuild Columbine High School, several security guards were in front of the school.
“We have a lot of tourists that come by here and it gets to be, it’s burdensome on my staff and it’s tiring,” said Columbine Principal Scott Christy. “You don’t know what their intention is, you’ve got to take that seriously.”
The district asked the community to take a survey in early June. Following the STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting, the 20 year anniversary of the tragedy at Columbine, and the Sol Pais shutdown, district officials started the conversation around a new Columbine.
“I’ve been here 10 years, love the school. Emotionally I was torn at first. I could understand it. Also the emotional side of me wants to hang on to our current walls, our current facility,” Christy said.
The results showed a majority of people didn’t like the idea of tearing down the old school to build a new one and didn’t want to pay for the new construction.
“Either way, we’re in great shape. Columbine is in great shape,” Christy said.
The school is slated for $15 million in renovations from the 5B bond approved by voters last year. Christy thinks with a decision to keep the current 50-year-old school, the district will start discussing how to make it more private without views from the street.
“Anyone, just right off of Pierce (Street) could walk 100 feet, and you’re right there on our campus,” Christy said. “Security is paramount to us. Protecting our kids, our staff is number one priority for us.”
The conversation around staying or building new has happened with kids on summer break. Now with a definitive future they can concentrate on school.
“The people are what makes Columbine the special place that it is, it’s not the walls,” Christy said.