This, maybe, is part of the healing—removing the visual reminders of the very bad things that happened at Penn State. Jerry Sandusky was painted out of a massive downtown mural. And now the locker room and showers where he assaulted multiple boys will be completely renovated and rebuilt. Make no mistake: a university spokesman said the changes will be made as "a direct result" of Sandusky's crimes.
The Lasch Building has been a symbolic focal point from the beginning. You think Sandusky wrestling with boys in the locker room. You think "rhythmic slap, slap, slapping sounds." The building's allure is such that we mounted our own journey to Lasch back in December, but it was hermetically sealed. And now, as soon as legal proceedings are over (it is still, more or less, the scene of the crime), Penn State plans to tear the place up and rebuild, so it's no longer a place of pilgrimage for the curious.
It's just a building. Buildings can't be bad, or evil. But it's not associated with anything anyone wants to remember. It sucks to be the Laschs ("You don't build a building and put your name on it expecting that something like this is going to happen," says their grandson) but it's time to start moving on, and a very visible and symbolic way is to remove the topography of Jerry Sandusky. Like on the mural—the same mural where Joe Paterno proudly remains, with a halo painted in above his head after his death. There's the matter of the statue, too. Penn State's in the middle of a difficult process of determining what's too painful to remember, and too important to forget.