Panel: Tear down Sandy Hook school

By Dave Collins

Associated Press

Published: Friday, May 10 2013 9:36 p.m. MDT

People collect items used to hang a message written on fabric at a home a day after a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, in the Sandy Hook village of Newtown, Conn.

Julio Cortez, AP

Enlarge photo»

NEWTOWN, Conn. — A task force of elected officials in Newtown on Friday recommended tearing down Sandy Hook Elementary School, the school where 20 first-graders and six educators were killed in December, and rebuilding on the same site.

The group of 28 town elected officials voted unanimously in favor of a plan that would construct a new building in the same location.

The proposal now goes to the local school board, which has final authority.

The panel had narrowed a list of choices to renovating or rebuilding on the school site or building a new school on property down the street. Each would cost between about $48 million and $60 million.

The 430 surviving students are attending a renovated school renamed Sandy Hook Elementary School in the neighboring town of Monroe.

Officials had said that whatever choice is made, a new or renovated school wouldn't be ready by Aug. 27, the start of the next school year.

A study found building a new school on the existing site would cost $57 million.

Sandy Hook Elementary School hasn't housed students since the killings. Some town residents said the school should be torn down because they couldn't imagine sending children back there. Others favored renovating the school, with some saying that tearing it down would be a victory for evil.

Residents of towns where other mass school shootings occurred have grappled with the same dilemma. Some have renovated, some have demolished.

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