Town Heals and Remembers

Task Force Decision on the Future of Sandy Hook School

The existing school would be torn down.

By LeAnne Gendreau and Audrey Washington
|  Monday, Jul 8, 2013  |  Updated 12:54 PM PDT
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The permanent solution for what to do with Sandy Hook  Elementary has been reached. The Task Force decided to rebuild over the existing site.

Debra Bogstie and Thomas Kienzler

The permanent solution for what to do with Sandy Hook Elementary has been reached. The Task Force decided to rebuild over the existing site.

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A panel facing the difficult task of determining the future of Sandy Hook Elementary School voted unanimously to build a new school at the current site.

The task force met Friday night amid an ongoing discussion about what to do with the current building, where a gunman went on a rampage on Dec. 14, killing 20 first graders and six staff members.

The group rejected a proposal to renovate the 60-year-old current building, and most of the members indicated they thought the other proposed site on nearby Riverside Road was not viable, NBC Connecticut's Debra Bogstie reported.

The decision Friday night came after a meeting held last week about the future of the school ended with no decision

Three weeks after the shooting, students returned to classes, but moved to the former Chalk Hill School in Monroe, about seven miles from the site of the tragic shooting.

The 28 task force members have been trying to decide whether to renovate at the current site or rebuild on nearby Riverside Road, at Reed Intermediate School or on the Fairfield Hills campus.

"I will chain my body to it and to protest if they try to re-open it," said Erica Lafferty, daughter of Dawn Hochsprung, the principal who was killed trying to protect her students.

Residents attended the meeting and voiced their opinions about the site and the options.

“Just tearing it down and building a new school in the same place is one of the solutions that would make the most sense,” Peter Caracciolo, of Newtown, said.

The estimated cost for renovation or building a new school is estimated to range between $47 million and $59 million.

"I don't think people will be unhappy with what emerges there beyond the fact that many will object to that it's there at all," Will Rodgers, a committee member, said. 

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