Newtown School officials have been welcoming Sandy Hook students, parents and staff into a new elementary school building for the past few days as they get ready for the start of a new year in their new home. Town and School officials are hoping for a quiet opening on August 29th, but acknowledged the curiosity about the new Sandy Hook School.
First Selectman Pat Llodra says the events of 12-14 ripped the heart out of 26 families and damaged all who are part of the district, and the community at large. She thanked Monroe for their kindness and generosity in allowing the use of their old Chalk Hill School for the past three years. But she says the focus was always to bring students and teachers home to the Newtown community.
The new building features security measures including impact resistant glass and video surveillance at a gated entrance. Architects Svigals + Partners designed the school in a way that brings sunlight and nature inside.
Llodra says the magnitude of what happened on 12-14 propelled the state government, and all state taxpayers to take on the full funding of the $50 million project. She says for that, the town is very grateful. She noted that they would not be in the new place were it not for that generosity . She says there was no way,given the emotional impact, anxiety and grief, that Newtown would have been able to manage the burden of debt for a new school.
Llodra says they would trade the beautiful new school in a minute for the more familiar and aged Sandy Hook School, if they could just change the past. She says their role now is to bring the new school into its rightful status as the Sandy Hook School of the present and the future. Despite it's birth from a horrible tragedy, Llodra says Sandy Hook School will be a place of laughter, love and learning.
Two playgrounds, a regulation sized soccer field and more parking are among the new features of the 86,000-square-foot school, which was built on the same property--but not in the old footprint.
Newtown residents are being invited to explore the new Sandy Hook School building tonight.