(NewsNation) —Uvalde School District officials announced Wednesday that Robb Elementary School will not be used for classes at the beginning of a new school year in the fall.
The district said it will instead utilize other school district buildings for Robb Elementary School students and staff to conduct classes. The district said this is a short-term solution.
Zinna Aguilera has lived in Uvalde her whole life and now lives across the street from Robb Elementary. Attending the school has been a family tradition, as she, her siblings, her kids and her grandkids are all alumni.
“It’s home. It’s a safe environment. It’s a safe neighborhood. It gives you pride to say you went to Robb Elementary,” Aguilera told NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” on Tuesday.
As the community mourns the loss of the 19 children and two teachers whose lives were taken in last week’s shooting, the question on many minds is how to heal, and how to move forward.
“There are a lot of positive things that have happened over many generations in this community so that’s what I want the takeaway to be,” said Mendell Morgan, an Uvalde resident.
Mendell Morgan, like many of his fellow Uvalde citizens, does not want this tragedy to define his community and some believe the best way to do that is to demolish the school — to ensure elementary students don’t walk the same halls and learn in the same classrooms where tragedy struck.
There’s precedent for that idea.
Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, the site of a 2012 shooting in which 26 people including 20 children were killed, was razed and rebuilt.
Similarly, Columbine High School in Colorado, where 13 people were killed in 1999, tore down and replaced its library, where most of the attack occurred.
Aguilera sees that perspective, but believes over the decades there have many good memories made in that school. She’s open to part of the school coming down, but wants Robb Elementary itself to stay in hopes the good lives on and drowns out the horrors.
“It’s always gonna be there. No matter how long it takes, it’s always going to have that one memory. But it’s also gonna have all those old memories of when we grew up going to this school,” Aguilera said.
There are reports one local official said the president was hoping to use federal grant money to tear down Robb Elementary, but specifics of what that would look like still aren’t clear.