VT’s Norris Hall to re-open in two weeks
After some speculation as to what would happen to the building that was the site of one of the deadliest shooting incidents in American history, Virginia Tech officials announced today that they will begin a phased re-opening of Norris Hall on June 18.
As it was prior to the April 16 massacre, it will continue to serve as office and laboratory space for the engineering science and mechanics department and the civil and environmental engineering department. However, the classrooms where a lone gunman killed 30 students and faculty before shooting himself will no longer be used as such, and instead converted into more offices and labs. According to the Roanoke Times, that means Tech has lost approximately 5 percent of its total classroom space.
The announcement also shed some light on how the university plans to commemorate April's tragic events. Tech spokesperson Larry Hinckler ruled out the possibility of any memorial at Norris, telling reporters, "We're hoping to memorialize the lives, not the passing of those people."
Hinckler also says that that the university intends to erase all physical signs of the 174 rounds fired inside Norris through refurbishing of all affected offices. This stands in contrast to what the University of Texas at Austin did with its clock tower, after a student shot 44 people in an armed standoff in 1966. Bulletholes are still visible in the tower's observation deck, where law enforcement and citizens had returned the student's fire.