Ten months after the tragic murders of so many of its young students, it was decided this weekend that Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, will be torn down, and a new school built in the exact same spot.
Residents of Newtown turned out in huge numbers on Saturday to vote on whether the city should accept state-funding to support the project, or simply refurbish the old school rooms where the shootings took place. The Newtown Bee reports the referendum passed with an overwhelming majority: 4,504 voted for the school's demolition while only 558 voted against it. A task force previously recommended the school be torn down, but the decision needed approval from the town before it could be finalized.
The News-Times reports construction of the new school, which will cost somewhere between $42 million and $47 million, should be completed by 2016.
Newtown residents and school administrators were pleased to finally have this decision finalized. "I'm very happy that it passed, and passed significantly," Legislative Council Chairman Jeff Capeci told the Newtown Bee. "I had a feeling it would. Now we can move forward with the new school. This is great for the town. We can bring our children home." Sandy Hook students have been operating out of the former Chalk Hill Middle School in Monroe, a nearby town, ever since the tragic December 14 shooting that killed 26 people. They'll stay there until construction of the new school is complete.