Virginia Tech to Turn Classrooms of Deadly Rampage Into Center for Peace Studies

The Virginia Tech classroom wing where a student gunman killed 30 people and himself and wounded two dozen others last spring will be turned into a place to study peace, the school announced Thursday.

Having vowed never again to use Norris Hall for general classes, school officials said the rooms will house the new Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention.

"It was an opportunity for something new and different and hopeful to emerge," said provost Mark McNamee, who headed a campus task force that reviewed proposals for the use of Norris Hall.

Besides the peace center, the second-floor classrooms where Seung-Hui Cho killed 30 of his 32 victims will host an interactive learning space.

After the April 16 killings, ideas for the future of the three-story gray stone building ranged from restoring classes as usual to turning the building into a memorial or razing it.

Except for the classrooms, Norris Hall was reopened because it contained sophisticated laboratory equipment that could not be moved.