Colorado’s Columbine High School, the site of one of the most infamous school shootings, will remain intact, school officials announced Wednesday after weeks of debate on whether the county should rebuild the structure.
In a letter to the community, Jefferson County Superintendent Jason Glass said that a survey considering the idea of rebuilding the school had not resulted in “sufficient support” to move forward.
The Columbine school shooting left 13 people dead in 1999 and has since inspired a number of copycat shooters across the country. The school has had issues with individuals obsessed with the murders trespassing on school property in the past.
A high number of “unauthorized individuals” — some 2,400, the Colorado Sun reports — had entered Columbine’s grounds in the past school year. By completely reconstructing the school, it would “remove the attraction as the site of the 1999 murders.”
In an op-ed published in the Washington Post, Glass argued that the building appears to draw trespassers who find it to be “a macabre inspiration for the contagion of school shootings in the United States.”
In April, Denver locked down all public schools due to threats from an “armed and dangerous” woman from Florida who had traveled to Colorado and who was reportedly “infatuated” with the 1999 shooting.
The woman later died by suicide.
Glass addressed these concerns in his letter.
“Still, 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,” he wrote.
The school will seek to strengthen and improve its perimeter security, among other changes, he added.
“I deeply appreciate the engagement and respect our community has shown in navigating this difficult question,” Glass concluded. “I understand the prevailing wishes of the Jeffco community on this matter and we will work to meet those, keeping Columbine a great school and making it even more secure going forward.”