Site Work Begins on New Sandy Hook School

NEWTON, Conn. — Site work officially began on Oct. 21 for construction on the new Sandy Hook Elementary School. The $50 million, state-funded project will replace the building in Newton where 20 children and six staff members were killed in a tragic shooting almost two years ago on Dec. 14.
Milford, Mass.-headquartered Consigli Construction Co. will serve as the construction manager on the project, while New Haven, Conn.-based Svigal + Partners is serving as the architect. An official groundbreaking was not scheduled mainly to protect the privacy of the Sandy Hook community, reported CBS New York.
The community decided to demolish the old 70,000-square-foot elementary school and replace it with the 87,000-square-foot structure, which will accommodate more than 500 pre-kindergarten through fourth graders. The construction company has already barricaded the property and intends to screen the perimeter to dissuade onlookers from taking photographs. Full-time security guards will also help keep the side undisturbed.
The school will feature three classroom wings, two of which are two stories that overlook central courtyards. Breakout spaces in the form of “treehouses” will create alternative learning environments on the second floor. The curved entrance is also designed to leave the impression of a community embrace, with the entire building constructed to make connections with the natural landscape surrounding it. The main floor of the building is designed as a wide thoroughfare that connects the three separate wings of the school. The project will also include a new soccer and ball field.
“We are very aware of how much this new school means to the people of Newtown. We hope that as it takes shape, it will contribute to the continued renewal of the Sandy Hook community. This project is about much more than a new building,” said Anthony Consigli, president of Consigli Construction Co., in a statement.
Construction will officially begin in March. The first parts of the project will be the installation of construction fences, building retaining walls and removing trees along the property line. The project is scheduled for completion by June 2016. The school’s 430 students are currently attending class at the former Chalk Hill Middle School in neighboring Monroe, Conn.
Earlier this month, the last of the 26 playgrounds dedicated to the students and staff members that died in the Sandy Hook shooting was completed. The final playground built as part of the Where Angels Play Foundation was named for Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, the school principal who bravely confronted a wall of bullets to protect her students and staff. The playground was built in Watertown, the community where her four grandchildren live.