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Newtown's Sandy Hook Opens New Doors on Old School's Site

Image: Newtown's Sandy Hook Opens New Doors on Old School's Site

The new Sandy Hook Elementary School. (Mark Lennihan/AP/File)

By    |   Tuesday, 30 Aug 2016 06:45 AM

Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School opened on Monday, once again, in a new building at its old site nearly four years after 26 people were killed in one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history.

The $50 million facility opened with a guard posted at the gated entrance as more than 350 students were expected to attend the new facility, said the Hartford Courant. The old school was demolished after the 2012 massacre.

"It's beautiful and they've done a lot of nice things to keep the heart of them in there, which is really nice," said Emily Scarlato, whose son is a first-grader at the new school.

"You can't help but get emotional when you walk into that school," she said.

There was no big memorial because one wasn't wanted by the community.

The new school is surrounded by peaceful, natural themes, such was wood paneling, gardens, and alcoves that look like treehouses, said WSHU Public Radio.

"Treehouses evoke childhood and for children to have that sense of their space that they own," said Julia McFadden, the project manager for the architecture firm Svigals and Partners.

The architects' website dedicated to the new building described how the design incorporated elements of nature and the "natural beauty" of the town.

"Inspired by the strong sense of community and the inherent natural beauty of Newtown, our design team is exploring regenerative, restorative, and healing elements of nature as they serve to foster an environment of learning, environmental stewardship, and community involvement."

Svigals and Partners told WSHU they spent months discussing with Newtown residents about what should go into the school.

"They were very passionately protective," said McFadden. "They really communicated heartfelt feelings about wanting the whole community to come together and recreate the school in a way the town could reconnect to it. Cause they really had their heart ripped out."

Melisa Horan, whose sixth-grade son will attend the school, told The Associated Press she was pleased with the design.

"Once you got down to where the driveway opened up, there was a whole different feeling, at least for me," Horan said. "It was done so respectfully and so tastefully. And the kids we toured with who are going there were just so excited to be there."

On Dec. 14, 2012, Adam Lanza killed his mother at their home, then drove to the old school where he gunned down 20 children and six adults before committing suicide.

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Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School opened on Monday, once again, in a new building at its old site nearly four years after 26 people were killed in one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history.
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Tuesday, 30 Aug 2016 06:45 AM
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