Connecticut approves $5 million for new Sandy Hook school

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By Richard Weizel HARTFORD Conn. (Reuters) - Connecticut's bond commission on Wednesday approved $5 million in funding to cover design costs for a new elementary school in Newtown, after the original was torn down following one of America's worst mass shootings there in 2012. The money is part of a total $50 million that the state is setting aside for construction of the new school, scheduled to open in the autumn of 2016. "This project is a necessary part of the recovery process," Governor Dannel Malloy said at a news conference. Twenty children and six adults were shot to death at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in December 2012 by 20-year-old former student Adam Lanza. Lanza, who also killed his mother at their home before his rampage, took his own life when police arrived on the scene. Architects unveiled designs for the new school in March, calling for it to be set on a hill farther from roads and parking lots than its predecessor to improve security. Malloy said state agencies would also do more to help families of the victims of the shooting, after two sets of parents last week told a state panel they had not received adequate mental healthcare and asked that special trauma teams be trained for the future. "I don't know you can ever be prepared for a tragedy of that magnitude," Malloy said. The 16-member state panel is charged with recommending ways to prevent and deal with gun violence in schools, and it is expected to release its final report in January. (Reporting by Richard Weizel; Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Eric Beech)

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