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Columbine High School

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Columbine High School
Columbine High School sign.jpg
6201 South Pierce Street
Columbine, Colorado
United States
Type Public high school
Established 1973
Principal KC Somers[1]
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 1700[2]
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Silver and blue          
Mascot Rebels
Nickname Rebels
Affiliation Jefferson County Public Schools
Superintendent Cindy Stevenson
Hope Columbine Memorial Library.jpg
The library built after the massacre
Columbine High School

Columbine High School or CHS is a high school in Columbine, Colorado, United States. The school is part of the Jefferson County Public Schools district (not the Littleton Public Schools system). The school is located at 6201 South Pierce Street, one mile west of the Littleton city limits and one-half mile south of the Denver city/county line.[3] “Littleton” is indicated in the school’s postal address because its ZIP code, 80123, is primarily associated with that city, the seat of Arapahoe County. The official school colors are blue and silver.


Columbine High School opened in the fall of 1973 with a capacity for 1,652 students.[4] It was named after the surrounding community of Columbine, which in turn was named after the state flower of Colorado: the columbine. The school's first principal was Gerald Difford. There was no senior class during the school's first year; its first graduating class was in 1975. The school colors were selected through a vote by students at Ken Caryl Junior High School and Bear Creek High School, who were the first to attend Columbine High School when it opened in 1973.

The school has undergone significant renovations since it first opened: in 1995, with the addition of a new cafeteria and library; in 1999-2000 (after the massacre), with interior renovations to the corridors, cafeteria, and former library; and in the early 2000s, with the addition of the new HOPE Columbine Memorial Library and a memorial on the site.[5][6][7]


Columbine High School was the site of one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern United States history, and the deadliest high school shooting in US history.[8] The shootings occurred on April 20, 1999, when two senior students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed twelve students and a teacher, and wounded 23 others, before they both committed suicide. The massacre made headlines both nationally and internationally, making Columbine a household name, and causing a moral panic in American high schools.[9]

After the shooting, classes at Columbine were held at nearby Chatfield Senior High for the remaining three weeks of that school year.

The school went through a major renovation in 1995, just four years before the massacre, adding a new library and cafeteria. After the shootings, Columbine completely demolished its library, located above the cafeteria, since it was the site where the majority of the deaths occurred. The site was then turned into a memorial ceiling and atrium; a new, larger library was built on the hill where the shooting began and dedicated to the memory of the victims.[10][11]



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Coordinates: 39°36′14″N 105°04′27″W / 39.60389°N 105.07417°W / 39.60389; -105.07417