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Fundraising for Columbine Memorial Stalls

April 20, 2005

DENVER (AP) _ Fundraising has stalled for a memorial to victims of the 1999 Columbine high school shootings, and organizers may have to consider a redesign of the $2.5 million project.

Columbine Memorial Committee chairman Bob Easton said Tuesday just $700,000 has been raised.

The current design calls for a memorial covering an acre on a hill above the school enclosed by 12-foot-high walls and including tributes written by the victims’ families. Water running over the walls would mute outside noise.

The committee will decide in July whether to continue with that design or scale down plans to begin construction sooner.

``Clearly we would like to see the existing plan implemented, but if that means waiting an awful long time for that to happen we’re prepared to alter our expectations,″ Easton said. ``Frankly at the rate we’re going right now, it’ll take another two or three years.″

Planning for the memorial began soon after Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot and killed 12 students and a teacher before committing suicide April 20, 1999. President Clinton vowed to help and spoke at a gala last summer that raised about $300,000.

But contributions declined as the local economy slowed and other tragedies occurred, including the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Easton said.

Easton said a memorial could be built with $1 million.

``I think something really respectful and nice can be done, but not on such a large scale,″ said Sue Petrone, whose son Daniel Rohrbough was killed at Columbine. ``It doesn’t have to something huge and grandiose to get the point across.″

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On the Net:

Columbine Memorial fund: http://www.columbinememorial.org

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