Columbine 10 years After

The commons (cafeteria), as seen from the senior parking lot. The library used to be above it. (The old library was torn out, so the cafeteria is now an airy room two floors high. A new library was added on, off to the left.

The remodeled West Entrance is to the far left, and the canopy over the Student Entrance is to the far right. The new external stairs are leading up to the entrance. (All that was torn out and redone, since people were murdered there.)  The canopy over the Student Entrance is to the far right. (That's where most students go in/out.)

 

We got permission to film in and outside  the school in late afternoon, after the final bell. The lot would be packed during the day.

A major corridor, after the school day. They keep the floors buffed! That's the Rebels mascot near the center.

A closer shot of the exterior of the commons, and what used to be the library windows. (You can see some of those upper windows boarded up in the crime scene photos.)

Inside the commons. Not much has changed. They use similar round tables that fold up in the middle for easy slowing. But the new tables have those stools attached. In 1999, they had plastic pink chairs that could be moved about.

They made only minor cosmetic changes to the room. Those pillars are structural, and unchanged. Eric and Dylan set the propane bombs next to two of them, presumably so the library would collapse onto the commons.

The the atrium area above the commons, where the library used to be. (The flag is hanging above the heads of anyone in the cafeteria.)

 

We took this shot from the second floor, facing the Rockies, and facing slightly down. The light is coming in from the windows on the iconic curved green wall shown in some of the exterior photos above. 

Here's how you see the atrium looking up from the cafeteria now.

 

That's not a skylight in the top-left, it's a suspended ceiling tile. These were painted and installed as part of the renovation to demolish the library and create the atrium. (There is another panel like it but unpainted (white) in the bottom right of the shot. (Some people have trouble seeing it--it blends in.) That will give you a better perspective on what you're looking at with the painted tile.)

 

The previous picture also has many of the tiles visible from a side angle, which will help you grasp how it fits together.) 

The steps up to the West Entrance. The sidewalk, stairs and entrance were redesigned and rebuilt after the attack, because people were killed and injured there. During the attack, the entrance was recessed further back into the building.

This is where Eric and Dylan entered the school. Compare to the shattered glass doors of the West Entrance photos on the crime scene photos page.)

Another angle on the same area.

The iconic school sign, with their Rebels logo. It's for revolutionary war rebels, BTW. Most people think of the Confederacy. (CSAP is Colorado's standardized student testing system. It stands for Colorado Student Assessment Program.)

This is the only picture on this page not from the video. I just think this area is beautiful. This is "the hogback," an archeological feature just a few miles west of the school, en route to Dylan's house. (It's also close to Red Rocks Amphitheater.) It's spectacular.

BTW, please DO NOT go visit the Klebold home. I hope you'll respect their privacy, but I also hope this image gives you a sense of some of the beauty of the area. This is where Tom and Sue Klebold chose to raise their family. Dylan passed vistas like this multiple times a day.

I wanted to give you a glimpse of the school a decade after the tragedy. I must have been to Columbine a hundred times between 1999-2018, and the mood around there changed slowly but drastically over that time. (From anxiety and turmoil back to serenity and teenage excitement, more than anything.)

 

I hope these photos will give you a sense of that, especially when you contrast them to the crime scene photos page.

Except as noted, these are all screen captures from the Columbine intro video shot for my book by filmmaker Andrew Kemler March 6, 2009. (BTW, if you're looking for a great filmmaker, I was really impressed by his work. And a really good guy, too.) Captions appear under each photo.

 
 
 
 

Origin story

Columbine book, Parkland, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold

Contact

Dave Cullen
Media Inquiries

© Dave Cullen 2019 / dave@davecullen.com

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"Like Capote's In Cold Blood, this tour de force gets below the who and what of a horrifying incident to lay bare the devastating why."

— People

Birth of a

movement

Parkland Birth of a Movement MFOL March For Our Lives Marjory Stoneman Douglas High fence
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