This is What Happened To School Sites After Mass Shootings

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Investigators search for evidence outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, May 25, 2022, after an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 students and two teachers.
Investigators search for evidence outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, May 25, 2022, after an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 students and two teachers.

Yesterday, The Root reported that Robb Elementary—the school in Uvalde, Texas where a deadly mass shooting occurred last month—will be torn down. On May 24, 21 people—including 19 children—were killed in one of the most shocking acts of violence this country has ever seen.

During a city council meeting Tuesday, Uvalde mayor Don McLaughlin stated: “My understanding — I had a discussion with the superintendent — that school will be demolished. We could never ask a child to go back, or a teacher to go back into that school ever.”

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With Robb Elementary being demolished in the near future, we researched what happened to seven other school sites where mass shootings occurred. Here are the results.

Santa Fe High School (2018)

n this May 18, 2018, file photo, law enforcement officers respond to Santa Fe High School after an active shooter was reported on campus in Santa Fe, Texas.
n this May 18, 2018, file photo, law enforcement officers respond to Santa Fe High School after an active shooter was reported on campus in Santa Fe, Texas.

On May 18, 2018, ten people were killed when a 17 year old student opened fire at Santa Fe High School in Texas. The alleged shooter used a shotgun and a revolver in the attack that belonged to his father. Eleven days after the shooting happened, families went back to the school for an event that honored those who died in the tragedy. Shortly following that, students went back to class. The classrooms where the shooting occurred were closed off by newly constructed walls.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High (2018)

In this Feb. 15, 2018, file photo, law enforcement officers block off the entrance to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., following a deadly shooting at the school.
In this Feb. 15, 2018, file photo, law enforcement officers block off the entrance to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., following a deadly shooting at the school.

On February 14, 2018, a a teenager used an assault rifle to kill a total of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida. Students returned to classes just two weeks later and were escorted into the school by hundreds of police officers. The freshman building where the shooting happened was cordoned off. Nearly 150 grief counselors were also made available for students.

Sandy Hook Elementary School (2012)

In this Dec. 14, 2012, photo, officials stand outside of Sandy Hook Elementary School after a shooting in Newtown, Conn.
In this Dec. 14, 2012, photo, officials stand outside of Sandy Hook Elementary School after a shooting in Newtown, Conn.

On December 14, 2012, a 20-year-old gunman in Newtown, Connecticut murdered his mother at their home before heading to Sandy Hook Elementary School. There, he fatally shot 20 children and 6 adults before taking his own life. Students were sent to an elementary school in a nearby town and the building was demolished in 2013. A new school—which kept the same name—was rebuilt in its placed. Around $50 million was spent on the structure.

Northern Illinois University (2008)

In this Feb. 14, 2009 file photo, Five crosses stand outside Northern Illinois University’s Cole Hall marking the one year anniversary of a shooting in the NIU lecture hall that left five students dead in DeKalb, Ill.
In this Feb. 14, 2009 file photo, Five crosses stand outside Northern Illinois University’s Cole Hall marking the one year anniversary of a shooting in the NIU lecture hall that left five students dead in DeKalb, Ill.

On February 14, 2008, a gunman entered Cole Hall at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb with a shotgun and three pistols. He shot five people to death and then shot himself. The shooter, who was a 27 year old graduate student at the school, fired 54 rounds from the weapons. Two weeks after the massacre, Governor Rod Blagojevich announced Cole Hall would be torn down and that a new building, called Memorial Hall, would replace it. It opened four years later.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (2007)

Norris Hall, Virginia Tech University campus, Blacksburg, Virginia.
Norris Hall, Virginia Tech University campus, Blacksburg, Virginia.

On April 16, 2007, 32 people were shot to death on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. The gunman, who was a 23-year-old student at the school, was armed with a 9-millimeter handgun, a 22-caliber handgun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. He also wound up taking his own life. After the shooting, Norris Hall—where most of the deaths occurred—was immediately closed and reopened two years later.

Columbine High School (1999)

This April 21, 1999, photo, shows the news media compound near Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.
This April 21, 1999, photo, shows the news media compound near Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.

On April 20, 1999, two gunmen—ages 17 and 18, opened fire on their classmates at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. They wound up killing 13 students before turning the guns on themselves. The school closed for the remainder of the school year after the shooting and wound up reopening in August. However, its library—where most of the violence occurred—was permanently closed. Two years later, a new library opened.

Cleveland Elementary School (1989)

A man and two students arrive back at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, Calif., Jan. 17, 1989 after a heavily armed gunman invaded the school yard and killed five children and injured 30 others before killing himself.
A man and two students arrive back at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, Calif., Jan. 17, 1989 after a heavily armed gunman invaded the school yard and killed five children and injured 30 others before killing himself.

Five children, ages 6 to 9, were shot and killed at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, California. The shooting, which took place on January 17, 1989, was at the hands of a 24-year-old white supremacist targeting Southeast Asian children during recess. He then turned the gun on himself. The school didn’t close for long; three weeks later Michael Jackson visited the school to comfort those affected by the incident.