A Glimpse Inside Columbine

USE THIS ONE> Media gather at the entrance to Columbine High School for a tour of the school in Littleton, Colo., on Sunday, April 9, 2000. April 20th marks the anniversary of the massacre.
The azure sky above the "Now Hiring" sign, a symbol of the economic boom that keeps drawing people to this suburban area, made it seem like any other spring day.

Where once thousands of flowers, religious icons, banners and grieving visitors and journalists tumbled together, there was no clue of what had happened nearly a year ago.

But inside Columbine High School, scene of the massacre of 12 students and a teacher by two hate-filled teen gunmen, officials were guiding journalists on a tour.

In the school's cafeteria, where if crude propane bombs fashioned by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had exploded the death toll would have been much higher, an electronic message board flashes, telling students to "wear visible ID's April 13-20."

With journalists not permitted inside Columbine during the anniversary observance, some students supposedly were offered cash for pictures, CBS News Correspondent Lee Frank reports. Now yellow paper notices advise students -- and school staff -- no cameras or tape recorders allowed. Bright pink signs asking "are you having a bad day?" offer peer counseling at Columbine High school.

Tour guide Marilyn Saltzman, who as a school district spokeswoman has answered a million questions since the April 20 massacre, said, "We started the year with IDs and the kids did not like it very well. But next week we will insist."

"We want to keep the tourists out," she added.

Saltzman admits the process is wearing thin, "especially when I am asked questions that take me back to that day."

For example, she had to point out where the killers entered the building, and where bodies were found outside. Lockers cover the wall where double doors once opened on the library, the main killing field.

The library is closed forever. White butcher paper covers the windows. A temporary facility has been set up outside the school in a modular structure. A new library and atrium will be constructed outside the main building in full view of the snowy mountain peaks.

Construction workers, donating their time, went through the building to cover every single bullet hole. New tables, ceiling and floor tiles were installed to try to make it look different.

"There were 500 children inside the cafeteria, and it brings back many memories," Saltzman reminded reporters.

Empty on a Sunday morning, it seemed more like the food court in a suburban mall.

"We've changed the colors to warmer colors in the building," she adds with a resigned note.

Trophy cases, prom banners, and advertisements from colleges looking for recruits aren't much different from those at other schools. But one of the prom royalty members is Patrick Ireland, who became known as "the boy in the window" when TV cameras showed him dangling from the library window awaiting rescue.

As the anniversary approaches, everyone involved in the rampage is eing bombarded with requests for interviews. Family members and survivors have sought to limit the emotional damage by setting up joint encounters with reporters, much like Sunday's tour.


CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report