The new Sandy Hook Elementary
was designed with both students and
the surrounding community in mind.
Heightened security measures are in
place along with kid-friendly elements
for a comforting atmosphere.
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Rebuilt Sandy Hook
Nearly four years after tragedy struck at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the school will
reopen in a new building with a fresh design that is well lit, open,
environmentally friendly, safe, and responsive to the needs of its
students and the surrounding community.
The $50 million, 86,000-square-foot replacement was built on
the same property of the previous building, but not in the footprint
where the school once stood (the original Sandy Hook structure
was demolished in 2013). All that remains are two large concrete
slabs containing dinosaur footprints that sat outside the old building.
Svigals + Partners conceptualized and carried out the school’s
refreshed design. With the community’s needs in mind, in their
planning and development stages the firm’s architects and
engineers hosted seven workshops including “Kids Build” sessions
with the students. Their drawings are on flags that line Sandy
The school now includes three courtyards, study spaces
designed to look like treehouses, and a moat-like raingarden.
Heightened security measures have been implemented at the new
Sandy Hook location, which welcomed students for the 2016-17
school year on Aug. 29, though it opened for media and public
viewing in late July. Visitors must go through a driveway gate with
a video intercom, across the raingarden, and pass two police
officers and a video monitoring system to get inside. The school’s
ground floor is elevated, making it harder to see inside classrooms
from outside the building. All windows and doors are bulletproof.
While there are no noticeable memorials at the new Sandy
Hook, school officials say the entire project was carried out with
victims of Dec. 14, 2012 in mind.