Decision on Sandy Hook Elementary's Future on Hold - NBC New York

Town Heals and Remembers

Sandy Hook School Decision on Hold

No decision was made at a Friday night meeting. The next meeting takes place one week later, May 10.



    Decision on Sandy Hook Elementary's Future on Hold

    The group tasked with deciding the future home of Sandy Hook Elementary School will not have a decision Friday night.

    The school could end up in one of two locations in Newtown, Conn. One option is to build a new facility just down the street from the now-vacant elementary school where 20 first graders and six staff members were killed in December.

    The other is to renovate or rebuild at the existing site, an idea that has some of the victims' families upset.

    The 28-member task force met Friday night to decide where to reopen the school, but it came to no conclusions.
    A group of Sandy Hook teachers talked with task force members privately prior to the public meeting on Friday, according to NBC News. A Newtown school board member said the teachers explicitly stated that they never want to enter the building again during the "difficult" conversation.

    The process has taken months. Numerous locations were considered by the special committee using the public's input. Will Rodgers, a committee member, had told NBC Connecticut Friday afternoon that the panel will likely pick a site when it meets.
    "I think it's probably going to be the existing site," Rodgers said. He said he knows that won't make everyone happy.
    "I will chain my body to it and to protest if they try to re-open it," Erica Lafferty told NBC Connecticut in an exclusive interview.
    Lafferty's mother, Dawn Hochsprung, was the principal at Sandy Hook who lost her life running towards the shooter after he broke through the school's front door.
    "It should be knocked down," Lafferty said. "There should be some type of long lasting memorial. I don't want people to walk into the building and say, oh well that's where Erica's mom got gunned down. That's not okay."
    But for some, keeping Sandy Hook Elementary in the Sandy Hook section of town is important, even if that means using the same piece of property where 20 students and 6 educators were killed.
    "Just tearing it down and building a new school in the same place is one of the solutions that would make the most sense," one Newtown parent said.
    "It's going to be a wrenching process," Lafferty said. "There just aren't that many options for us. Starting with all these sites available in terms of acreage."
    Sandy Hook students have been attending school at a temporary facility in neighboring Monroe. The First Selectman said their stay at Chalk Hill School can be extended until 2016.
    The task force will hold another meeting on May 10 at 7 p.m.