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The citizens of Newtown, Connecticut have spoken. In a lopsided vote, they have decided to tear down Sandy Hook Elementary School and build a completely new building with fifty million dollars in funds allocated by the State. The property won’t be able to completely wash away the stain of what happened, but hopefully, it will help the entire town to collectively move forward.
According to ABC News, Sandy Hook’s students have been attending classes at a nearby middle school since a mass shooting left 26 dead back in December. Recently, the State Legislature decided to offer the town fifty million dollars, but in order to accept a gift of that size, local citizens needed to head to the polls and vote on it. The official tally hasn’t been released yet, but The Associated Press claims it was 4,504 in favor of accepting the money and 558 against. It’s unclear exactly why twelve percent of voters or so were against taking the money (Libertarians? Houses near the construction zone?), but in the grand scheme of things, getting more than eighty-five percent of Americans to agree on anything is really difficult. So, count this vote as a landslide.
Because it’s such a massive undertaking, officials aren’t positive exactly when the new school will be completed, but early estimates are pointing to either the beginning of 2015 or the following fall. Either way, the students should be able to return to the town itself to attend classes for the 2015-2016 school year, which no doubt will be a pleasant development for both them and their parents.
As for the gift itself, it is not a loan, an early payment of funds or an income source that will be taxed. It’s simply a flat-out gift to voters from the Connecticut Legislature in hope that it will help heal some wounds and let the townsfolk know just how deeply sympathetic everyone is to their grief.
Pop Blend’s sincerest well-wishes go out to the entire community. Here’s to hoping the builders and planners can find some special way to honor the victims without turning the new building into a sad memorial.