Thursday, February 28, 2008

Now This IS Government Waste

C'mon. They are seriously going to tear down the the Northern Illinois University building in which the infamous killings took place earlier this month?

DEKALB, Ill. -- Northern Illinois University officials and Gov. Rod Blagojevich asked
state lawmakers Wednesday to approve $40 million to raze the lecture hall where five students were shot and killed on Valentine's Day and replace it with a new classroom and memorial building.

Cole Hall will be torn down, but what happened there will never be forgotten," Blagojevich said at a news conference outside the building where 16 other students were injured by a former graduate student who then turned the gun on himself.

NIU President John Peters said he started talking to the Blagojevich administration right after the shooting because he felt the university couldn't leave the building standing. Students couldn't be expected to attend classes there, Peters said.
$40 million? Let's be reasonable here. Can't we just put up a memorial to the slain students? Why does the entire building have to go? So every building in which a murder takes place now needs to be scrubbed from the earth?

I have never been on the NIU campus so I know nothing about Cole Hall. If it is beyond repair and in need of replacement anyway, that's one thing. But tearing it down because of the horrible thing that happened there makes no sense to me.

I understand that going in to the building might be traumatic for some current students. Maybe the building should remain idle for a year or so, or perhaps turn the one classroom into a memorial. But there is no reason to spend 40 mil to get rid of a bad memory.

Update: Where did this idea originate? I know Blagojevich is getting all the blame, but it seems like the NIU officials are pushing hard for this too. I’m just wondering whether NIU approached the governor with the idea or was it the other way around. Either way it’s a bad idea, but I think administration at NIU maybe getting off the hook here.

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