A rendering of plans for a new Snyder Hall Mahlum Architects

A rendering of plans for a new Snyder Hall.

Oregon college ready to tear down building where mass shooting took place

Umpqua Community College will tear down Snyder Hall and replace it with a new building.

Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., is scheduled to tear down the campus building where a gunman fatally shot nine people and wounded eight others last year.

The Portland Oregonian reports that the demolition of Snyder Hall is set to begin in mid-October, a little more than a year after the shooting attack.

A new Snyder Hall will be constructed and is expected to be ready for classes next fall.

After student Chris Harper-Mercer killed nine people and wounded eight others before killing himself on Oct. 1, 2015, the college closed the facility, which housed classrooms and offices. Some of the offices eventually reopened, but no classes have been held there since the shooting.

Following the shooting, a committee of students, teachers, administrators and others decided that Snyder should be torn down and rebuilt with a new design. The existing building not only generated strong negative feelings for many students and staff, but also was aging and in poor condition.

Snyder Hall "is fifty years old, the roof and infrastructure are failing and the walls are thin panels and poorly insulated," the college stated in its request to the Oregon Legislature for funding. "The restrooms do not meet current code, let alone accessibility. They are accessed from an outside breezeway, which makes them far from secure....In addition most students are reluctant to go into the restrooms after the [shooting]. They hid in them for hours. To move them, or upgrade to current code would be impossible as the plumbing is buried in the fifty-year-old concrete slab."

The panel opted for a design that did away with outside entrances to classrooms by creating a main hallway that leads to them.

A garden—serving as a meditative space for students—will occupy the ground of classrooms 15 and 16, where the shootings occurred.

State lawmakers allocated $6 million in February to replace Snyder Hall and improve safety and security across campus. The new Snyder will cost about $4.2 million.

The architect is Mahlum Architects, and the contractor is Andersen Construction.

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