MARYSVILLE — More than six years after an on-campus shooting spree left five teenagers dead, the old Marysville Pilchuck High School cafeteria where the tragedy happened will soon be demolished.
The Marysville School District made the long-anticipated announcement earlier this week.
The cafeteria has been shuttered since the October 2014 shootings and is scheduled to be knocked down this summer. The attack took the lives of five freshmen, including the boy with the gun. All of the victims were his friends. A sixth student also was injured but recovered.
After the shootings, the district conducted an online survey of students, staff and the community. Results showed that students didn’t ever want to go back into the old building.
An architectural firm, Hutteball and Oremus, has been selected by the Marysville School Board, according to a news release from the district. That firm designed the new commons on campus, completed in 2016. The new commons is situated well away from the old cafeteria on the 84-acre campus. It cost $8.3 million.
Less than two months after the shootings, Randy Dorn, the state superintendent of public schools at the time, toured the Marysville Pilchuck campus, including the closed cafeteria and the high school gym that had become a makeshift cafeteria. He pledged to help find money for the new commons: “I wasn’t going to do a budget without it in there,” he said after his visit. “This is a statewide strategy, not just one place.”
The state paid $5 million through a special appropriation from the Legislature, with another $2.6 million from state matching money and $700,000 from the district’s capital budget.
Demolition preparation, including rerouting utilities, is scheduled to begin in May. Eventually the district plans to place a memorial on the site for those who died and hopes to form a planning team later this spring.
After demolition, the grounds will be covered with grass until a memorial is placed there, the district said.
The plan is to have the commemoration effort led and funded by the community. Dr. David Schonfeld, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician and director of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement, will offer guidance to the committee.
Those who would like to visit the site may do so between April 12 and 23. Contact Jodi Runyon at jodi email@example.com or call 360-965-0005 to schedule.
Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @stephrdavey.