— After two students went on a deadly rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., in April 1999, students finished the year at another school. Columbine reopened in time for the following school year after extensive repairs.
‘‘The intent of the school district is to put this back as a high school,’’ Jack Swanzy, lead architect on the refurbishing project, said at the time. ‘‘We don’t want to make it a shrine to the tragedy.’’
School district officials originally considered remodeling and reopening the second-floor library, where most of the students were killed, but parents objected and asked that it be demolished and replaced.
The district eventually agreed and the old library, which sat above the school cafeteria, was removed and the space converted into an atrium.
A memorial to those killed — 12 students and a teacher — opened years later on a hill above the school. The broad oval sunken into the rolling terrain still attracts people.
On Friday, after the Newtown shooting, Amber Essman, 24, made her first visit. She was in grade school at the time of the shooting and had been hesitant to visit before because of the emotions it would bring up.
She wanted to pay belated respects to those killed at Columbine and provide some comfort to their families. ‘‘They need comfort and peace today in addition to the families in Connecticut that have been affected,’’ she said.
Associated Press writers Karl Ritter in Stockholm, Dinesh Ramde in Milwaukee, Michael Felberbaum in Richmond, Va., Mark Scolforo in Harrisburg, Pa., and Ben McConville in Edinburgh, Scotland, contributed to this report.