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Collaboration, community and creativity were the essential features families, teachers and engineers wanted in designing a new, safer Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.

The original school building was demolished in 2013 after the December 2012 shooting in which gunman Adam Lanza killed 20 students and 6 teachers. The new building opened its doors this Fall on the same grounds.

Exceptional security features, such as windows and walls that withstand gunfire are balanced by the design theme, “the healing elements of nature.” A key focus of construction was to not make the school resemble an armored campus.

Designers and the community chose a tree motif with a metaphor for strength, restoration, and protection. This is evident in features such as wood paneling, floor-to-ceiling windows that stream in natural light, and colors that both soothe and inspire creativity and joy in the learning environment.

Read more at the Sandy Hook website.

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