Sandy Hook Elementary school will be torn down, locals decided this weekend after a vote in Newtown.
After last year’s tragic massacre, Sandy Hook Elementary became infamous, a tomb and makeshift memorial following the deaths of 27 people last December — 20 of them children.
According to local paper the Newtown Bee, a “rare” referendum Saturday resulted in a “wide margin” vote to raze the building in which the shootings occurred, and less than 10 percent of those voting did not support the plan to demolish Sandy Hook Elementary.
In the vote over the fate of Sandy Hook, more than 5,000 Newtown residents came out over the weekend to weigh in — with 4,504 in favor of accepting funding to rebuild, and 558 voting down the proposal during the two-hour window.
The paper posted a video, above, of the tally and announcement, which drew a few “shouts” from the gathered crowd waiting to learn the site’s fate.
After the vote was tallied, Selectman James Gaston Sr. said the vote’s outcome was expected, but the margin of in-favor voters was even higher than people anticipated — he told the paper:
“I thought it was going to pass by at least 80 percent, but it’s more like 90 percent. It’s time to bring our children home.”
Board of Education Chair Debbie Leidlein agreed, saying:
“This was another hurdle overcom… Now we’re ready. We’ve got great plans moving forward to bring our families home.”
Now that the plans to demolish Sandy Hook Elementary have been voted upon and the decision made to accept state funding of the project, many anticipate that the building could be gone by the first anniversary of the Newtown massacre in mid-December. Plans for a new school in Sandy Hook are slated for a mid-2016 completion date, but if the project goes ahead without delays, early 2016 is also a possibility.