This past week, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) and NIU President Jon Peters announced their intent to raze Cole Hall (where the recent campus shootings occurred), and replace it with a new building called Memorial Hall expected to cost $40 million in state funds.
Although some believe that destroying the building is the only way to exorcise the ghosts of the recent murders committed there, for whatever its worth--and that likely ain’t much--I strongly disagree.
Whether Cole Hall is used again or not, it won’t change what happened there. Further, destroying it smacks of a desperate attempt to salve over the university’s pain as if the building itself is the cause.
The cause was a homicidal monster named Steven Kazmierczak who had the sanity and foresight to destroy his computer hard drives before his assault so police could not use it to search for clues on his emotional state.
He killed those kids, not a lecture hall. And no amount of cash can make that awful reality disappear.
UPDATE (3-6-08): Heard a news report yesterday that the governor has withdrawn his recent proposal to raze Cole Hall due to a cacophony of objections over the high cost, and disruptions to NIU’s campus. So sanity wins this round.