Amish Schoolhouse Torn Down - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/12/06

Amish Schoolhouse Torn Down

Contractors tear down the Amish schoolhouse early Thursday. Contractors tear down the Amish schoolhouse early Thursday.
Workers using heavy equipment quickly reduced the building to rubble. Workers using heavy equipment quickly reduced the building to rubble.
Members of the Amish community stand near the site of Thursday's demolition Members of the Amish community stand near the site of Thursday's demolition

NICKEL MINES, Pennsylvania (AP) -- Workers on Thursday demolished the one-room Amish schoolhouse where a gunman killed five girls and wounded five others.

Construction lights glared in the mist as a backhoe tore into the overhang of the school's porch around 4:45 a.m., then knocked down the bell tower and toppled the walls.

Within 15 minutes, the building was flattened. By 7:30, the debris was gone.

The schoolhouse had been boarded up since the killings 10 days earlier, with classes moved to a nearby farm. The Amish planned to leave a quiet pasture where the schoolhouse stood.

"I think the Amish leaders made the right decision," Mike Hart, a spokesman for the Bart Fire Company, said as loaders lifted debris into dump trucks.

The Amish are known for constructing buildings by hand, without the aid of modern technology, but for this job they relied on an outside demolition crew to bring closure to a painful chapter for their peaceful community.

A group of 20 to 30 people, many of them in traditional Amish dress, gathered to watch the demolition.

"It seems this is a type of closure for them," said Hart, who has been coordinating activities with the Amish community.

The destruction of the West Nickel Mines Amish School came a week after the funerals for the five girls killed by gunman Charles Carl Roberts IV. Roberts came heavily armed and apparently prepared for a long standoff. He held the 10 girls hostage for about an hour before shooting them and killing himself as police closed in.

The five girls wounded in the October 2 shooting are still believed to be hospitalized. The hospitals are no longer providing any information about the patients at the request of their families.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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