Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the state is pledging its support to the Town of Newtown to facilitate the building of a replacement of Sandy Hook Elementary School and is prepared to approve the first round of funding toward its construction at Friday's meeting of the State Bond Commission.
"The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School is never far from our minds. Over the last several months, we've done our best to move forward in a way that honors the memory of those we lost and meets the needs of residents and the surrounding community," Governor Malloy said. "Healing from an enormous tragedy like this is never easy. There are no simple answers, and the challenges are many. With strong resolve and a determination to move forward, we can do our best to support the people of Newtown."
"The people of Newtown decided that building a new Sandy Hook Elementary School is an important step onward for their children and their community," Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said. "This funding is another way the state is continuing the unwavering support our citizens and our government have shown for them since that dark day that still affects us all."
In a letter to First Selectman Pat Llodra, state Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes has requested the town provide cost estimates and supporting documentation for review. Utilizing a bond allocation that the state legislature authorized earlier this year, the funds will be placed as needed on upcoming Bond Commission meeting agendas in several phases to be considered for final approval.
The first allocation towards construction is in the amount of $3.7 million. Earlier this summer, the commission unanimously approved an allocation of $750,000 for the design of the building.
"The Town of Newtown greatly appreciates the support of the Governor's Office, the Office of Policy and Management and members of the Connecticut General Assembly in providing funds for us to build a new Sandy Hook Elementary School," Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra said. "This support enables our community to move forward with the right and best plan for schooling 450 grades K-4 students who were so impacted by the horrific violence that took the lives of 20 first graders and six educators. Having these funds available eases our journey in recovery and helps us grow in confidence for a bright future."
State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R-Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston, Westport) said, "As Newtown's State Senator, I am pleased that we are keeping our promise to the people of Newtown and ensuring that Sandy Hook Elementary School will be rebuilt even if our congressional delegation is unsuccessful in securing needed federal funding. That said, I am still hopeful federal dollars will be made available. I want to thank First Selectman Pat Llodra and her staff, as well as the countless number of local officials and concerned parents who have worked so hard in the wake of unspeakable tragedy to move this project forward. The replacement of Sandy Hook Elementary School is an essential step toward our community's healing and recovery."
"I am again grateful to Governor Malloy, the legislature, and the citizens of Connecticut for their continued commitment to Newtown's healing," State Representative Mitch Bolinsky (R-Newtown) said. "From the beginning, Newtown's friends in Hartford have been responsive and sensitive to our needs and have acted upon our collective promise to do what can be done while remaining empathetic to the individual and community losses suffered on December 14. Under the steadfast leadership of First Selectman Pat Llodra, I think the town will overwhelmingly approve the project at the upcoming October 5th referendum and thereby keep us moving forward."
"We in state government have made a commitment to the community in Newtown that we are honoring today," State Representative Dan Carter (R-Bethel, Danbury, Newtown, Redding) said. "A new school building means a new start and an important step in the healing process."
"I would like to thank Governor Malloy and the legislature for securing these funds to begin rebuilding Sandy Hook Elementary School," State Representative DebraLee Hovey (R-Monroe, Newtown) said. "This is the first major step toward stabilizing our school community and moving forward in a positive way for the future of the children of Sandy Hook."