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Ideas pour in for lasting memorial in Columbine

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -- Stained-glass steppingstones, each carved with a victim's name. A wish garden, for remembering those lost. A sobbing angel hovering over a field of flowers.

These are just a few of the ideas that artists, students and others have offered for a permanent memorial to the victims of the April 20 Columbine High School massacre.Art Zohn, a Denver graphic artist whose daughter will be a senior at Columbine this fall, said he felt he had to submit a design "to get it out of my system."

His concept features 13 marble benches, a waterfall and a stained glass window looking out on the mountains, where "friends and family could gather there and rally around one (bench) or all of them," he said.

Bob Easton, district executive director, is coordinating the project, along with school, parks and county officials, who are in the initial stages of reviewing designs, picking a site and lining up the money.

Although no budget has been set, three funds established by the parks district, school district and Jefferson County have set aside $25,000. About 28 offers of in-kind services have been made by contractors, landscapers and others.

"There are no preconceived notions at this point," Easton said. "The real key is a high level of involvement by the high school students, the parents, victims and families. We want to be sure it accurately reflects their desires."

The site has not been chosen, although public sentiment seems to favor Clement Park, where a makeshift memorial sprang up. There is no talk of remembering the gunmen.

Easton expects a committee of 20 to 25 people, including victims and other members of the public, to make the final decision.