NICKEL MINES, Pa. — In barely 15 minutes, workers using the kind of machinery the Amish won’t use were able to bulldoze a tragic reminder of what happened to their community last week.
The schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., was reduced to rubble by a backhoe in the pre-dawn darkness. A local community leader said there was a widespread feeling that the building had to go.
Ten Amish girls were shot there, five of them fatally, by a killer who then committed suicide. A spokesman for the local fire house said getting rid of the school building served as a form of closure.
A garage on a nearby farm will serve as a temporary school. A new schoolhouse will be built on a site still to be determined.
As for the old one, the debris was gone soon after sunrise, replaced by a large patch of dirt with a new wooden fence surrounding it. The site will now be a quiet pasture, and because of Amish beliefs, it’s unlikely to have a memorial.