This past Saturday, residents of Newtown, Connecticut voted overwhelmingly in favor of accepting a $49.25 million state appropriation that will allow the city to demolish Sandy Hook Elementary, the site of last December's horrific mass shooting, and build a new school on the same grounds.
In the run-up to the referendum, there'd been widespread support of the plan, devised by a local task force, to raze the old building. But there had also a small, but vocal movement of dissenters the Newtown Bee reported:
Those posting on social networks and submitting letters to the newspaper offered various reasons why the town should not accept funding, ranging from concerns about dwindling enrollment forcing the town to close another school, to those who wanted to see the original Sandy Hook facility re-purposed for other municipal uses.
They were a minority. The legislative act passed by nearly 90 percent, with 4,504 votes in favor and 558 against accepting the funds. According to the News-Times, Saturday's referendum had the highest voter turnout the town has seen since the 2008 presidential election.
In the aftermath of Adam Lanza's rampage, Sandy Hook students have been attending school in the nearby town of Monroe. Now that their plans have received popular approval, local officials want to have the former school building destroyed before the tragedy's first anniversary.
"I'm very happy that it passed, and passed significantly," Legislative Council Chairman Jeff Capeci told the News-Times. "I had a feeling it would. Now we can move forward with the new school. This is great for the town. We can bring our children home."
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