The Newtown Board of Selectmen has received an update from the Chair of the Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission. Kyle Lyddy provided an update on the recently selected site for a future memorial. He said they decided early on that the location needed come before the design.
The group worked with the Newtown Police Commission, the town's Director of Planning & Land Use as well as the Newtown Conservation Commission to narrow down the sites from 30 down to one. The three- to four-acres at the High Meadow at Fairfield Hills was chosen for its accessibility and infrastructure.
Lyddy also told the Board that the Commission anticipated some initial concerns, including proximity to a paved walking trail. The trail is frequently used, including by some of the 26 families who lost loved ones on 12-14, and they may not want to be exposed to the memorial. Lyddy says when they put out requests for proposals for a memorial, applicants should provide sight line barriers between the trail and the memorial.
Working with the Newtown Parks and Rec Department, Lyddy says they want to make sure the memorial and the agency's Phase III trail upgrades will work together, not against each other. He says that's layout, parking, and access ways.
The main source of concern though comes from the Conservation Commission. They want to make sure that the ecology of the land is protected. The improvements for handicap parking and an access road would be included in requests for proposals, and bidders would know that there is some land at the location that needs preserving.
Lyddy says there's been a misconception that the High Meadows was a predetermined selection. There were about 30 locations that the site committee visited. Those were narrowed down to 8 and then 3, before the High Meadows was chosen.