A task force of elected officials in Newtown, Conn., recommended tearing down Sandy Hook Elementary School, the school where 20 first-graders and six educators were killed in December, and rebuilding on the same site, reported the Associated Press.
On Friday the 28 town elected officials voted unanimously to construct a new building in the same location. The local school board will vote on the proposal.
The choices under discussion were renovating or rebuilding on the school site or building a new school on property down the street. Each would cost between about $48 million and $60 million.
Currently, the 430 surviving students are attending a renovated school renamed Sandy Hook Elementary School in the neighboring town of Monroe.
Officials had said that the new school would not be ready by Aug. 27, the start of the next school year.
Sandy Hook Elementary School hasn’t housed students since the killings. Residents of towns where other mass school shootings occurred have grappled with the same dilemma.
Columbine High School in Colorado, where two student gunmen killed 12 schoolmates and a teacher in 1999, reopened several months afterward. The library, where most of the victims died, was converted into an atrium.
Virginia Tech converted a classroom building where a student gunman killed 30 people in 2007 into a peace studies and violence prevention center. And an Amish community in Pennsylvania tore down the West Nickel Mines Amish School and built a new school a few hundred yards away after a gunman killed five girls there in 2006.
On the morning of Dec. 14, gunman Adam Lanza, who had killed his mother at their Newtown home, went to Sandy Hook Elementary School and opened fire with an assault rifle, killing the 20 children and the six adults. He killed himself as police arrived at the school.
The school shooting, one of the deadliest in U.S. history, has spurred national debate about gun control and Second Amendment rights.