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The town of Newtown, Connecticut demolished the former building last fall, nearly a year after the shooting. It’s hard to imagine teachers, students, or parents would have wanted to return to a place filled with horrifying memories, like the parking lot where police gathered terrified children and faculty after evacuating them from the school on the morning of December 14, 2012. Yet the school had some features the Sandy Hook community loved, and has missed since the school closed.
“They really loved their courtyard,” says Jay Brotman, principal at Svigalis + Partners and lead architect on the $50 million redesign. It’s become his job to know what the community misses, and what it can’t bear to see again, as Svigalis designed the new campus. To do that, he and his team immersed themselves in the community, perhaps more so than architects typically would, and held six workshops with 50 parents, neighbors, teachers and other school officials over the course of a few months before breaking ground in October. ….