CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Although Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris' deadly 1999 rampage at Columbine High School lasted less than an hour - during which time 12 students and a teacher died - their actions have had a lasting effect on schools all over the country.
The killings at Columbine still are affecting schools around the country, how they are built, how they are staffed and how school personnel react to emergencies.
The Dec. 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut renewed public interest in school safety, but for many administrators, the conversation never stopped.
The shootings at Columbine inspired changes to school buildings meant to prevent emergencies from happening in the first place.
Chuck Wilson, Kanawha schools' facilities director, said older schools were designed with the principal's office on the second floor or somewhere at the end of a hall, where noise from classrooms wouldn't distract administrators from their paperwork.
Now, schools are designed so the principal's office is centrally located, allowing them a view of the front driveway and walkways, as well as the school's main corridors.
"Kind of like a centralized control of the building," he said.
Kanawha County Schools now require visitors to buzz in at a school's front entrance before entering the building.
These "man traps" are equipped with an intercom system and a camera, so office staff can see and communicate with each visitor before they walk into the school.
Those building access systems can be scheduled to leave the doors open at certain high-traffic times, like when students are arriving in the morning or during ballgames after school. But Wilson said the system also has a special lockdown feature that will override that schedule, lock all the school's exterior doors and alert law enforcement there is an emergency.
"You've basically got a panic button in the office area they can press," he said.
Wilson said the school system also is working to install driver's license scanners at school entrances.
"If someone looks suspicious you can ask them to run their driver's license through," he said.
The information on the license could then be checked against law enforcement databases.
Safety measures are becoming more high-tech with each school Kanawha County builds.
The newly completed Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary has motion sensors in every classroom, primarily used to turn the lights off when students are not present. But Wilson said those sensors also can be used in emergency situations.
"First responders, if they can interface with this building system, they'll know what rooms where activities are going on," he said.
The school also has a special television channel that is usually devoted to energy management information but could be used in the event of a lockdown or security breach to broadcast messages to classrooms, give students information on what to do or show a map of where intruders are located.
Wilson pointed out that technology and building controls are only tools to head off deadly attacks at schools. Missy Ruddle, Kanawha County's assistant superintendent for middle schools, said she agrees.
"Somebody wants in the building, it's very hard to keep someone that determined out of the building," Ruddle said.
So, in addition to ensuring school buildings are safe and secure, Kanawha County now trains its teachers and staff how to protect students when an emergency occurs.
Ruddle was principal at McKinley Middle in 1999. While schools had long practiced emergency drills, most were to prepare for fires or natural disasters. Following the shootings at Columbine, Ruddle said schools developed safety plans for nearly any situation imaginable, including school shootings.
"It took away an innocence," she said.
Shortly after the Columbine shootings, Ruddle said school system administrators asked principals to run a lockdown drill, where students are locked in their classrooms to protect them from intruders, and then pull the fire alarm at the same time to confuse teachers.
Although teachers and students had some initial problems with the drills - one teacher let his students into the hallway when Ruddle pulled the fire alarm during a lockdown drill - she said the drills have now become a routine part of school life.
"It always amazes me. The kids know exactly what to do. The teachers and the administration in these schools are constantly thinking about scenarios," she said.