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Jeffco gets 7,000 responses on survey over future of Columbine HS. Here's what happens next

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Posted at 4:06 PM, Jun 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-19 18:09:43-04

Jeffco Public Schools received nearly 7,000 responses to a survey about whether Columbine High School should be torn down and rebuilt, officials said Wednesday.

The school district posted the survey last month, after an open letter from Superintendent Jason Glass said officials were exploring the idea of demolishing the building, where 13 people were killed in a mass shooting in 1999.

Jeffco Public Schools spokeswoman Diana Wilson said Wednesday that the thousands of survey responses "are being analyzed in detail, including numerous comments."

The results of the survey are expected to be finalized around mid-July, at the earliest, Wilson said. If the survey shows that Jeffco Public Schools families and staff support the idea of demolishing the building, then community forums would be organized and Jefferson County voters would be polled over the issue. Potential ballot language for the issue could be developed in August, Wilson said.

The plan detailed by Glass in May – which would see the school keep the Columbine name – would call for an additional $60-70 million to build the new school. A renovation of the current school was approved by voters last year, providing $15 million.

Glass told Denver7 in May that the school is "constantly under pressure" from people stopping by the campus, either out of innocent fascination or attempts to enter the building illegally.

"We have hundreds of people who try to enter the building or walk onto the grounds or slow-roll by it," Glass said. "We even have tour buses of people that stop outside Columbine High School. It's just a constant threat to the kids that are there."

MORE | Should Columbine High School be demolished? Jeffco school officials 'exploring' the idea

Glass said the school "continues to serve as a source of inspiration for potential school shooters, and its lasting impact only seems to be growing."

He cited an uptick over the last year in the number of people trying to enter the school illegally and the recent incident involving Sol Pais.

Pais, a Florida teenager who authorities said was "infatuated" with the Columbine shooting, traveled to Colorado in April and made threats toward area schools, before she was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the base of Mount Evans.