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Panel urges razing Newtown school

NEWTOWN, Conn. — A task force of elected officials in Newtown on Friday recommended tearing down Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 first-graders and six educators were slain in December, and rebuilding on the same site.

The group of 28 town elected officials voted unanimously for a plan that would construct a new building in the same location as the existing school. The proposal now goes to the local school board and then before voters as a referendum.

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Parent Daniel Krauss, whose daughter is a second-grader, said he was pleased by the panel’s recommendation.

‘‘It’s been a place for learning, for kids to grow up and it’s going to go back to that,’’ he said.

The panel had previously narrowed a list of choices to renovate or rebuild on the school site or building a new school on property down the street. A study found building a new school on the existing site would cost $57 million.

The 430 surviving students are attending a renovated school renamed Sandy Hook Elementary School in the neighboring town of Monroe.

If all goes well, officials said construction could begin in the spring and the new building could open January 2016.

Sandy Hook Elementary School has not held students since the killings. Some town residents said the school should be torn down because they could not imagine sending children there. Others favored making renovations to the school.

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