ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon building where nine people died in a mass shooting should be rebuilt to help those at Umpqua Community College move forward, an advisory panel recommended Wednesday.
A 16-member panel of students, teachers and others started meeting in November to consider options for the building. They said Wednesday people want Snyder Hall in Roseburg to look different but remain part of the campus, The Oregonian reported (http://goo.gl/HyyJYt).
Committee chair Betty Tamm said the idea is a way to reclaim the space as a learning center while remembering those who died.
"One of the big things on the committee was not to feel defeated -- like the incident defeated us," she said.
Chris Harper Mercer killed nine people and injured nine others at Snyder Hall before dying in a shootout with police Oct. 1. The building has been closed ever since.
Tamm, who is also a member of the college's board of trustees, said the panel looked to sites of other mass shootings for guidance and considered everything from demolition to only a slight remodel.
In an initial design by Mahlum Architects, of Portland, the footprint of the building would change and include six classrooms and 10 offices for faculty. If approved, the building would also include a student lounge, a fountain and nine trees outside for each person who died.
The board of trustees will seek $3.2 million from the state to pay for the project, Umpqua community relations director Lee Salter said. The board is expected to approve the plan Thursday.
A separate committee to consider ideas for a memorial will start meeting in the fall.
Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com