Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission Seeking Private Land Donors
The Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission is in the process of putting together an inventory of land possibilities in the Newtown community for where a permanent memorial, honoring the 26 lives lost on December 14, 2012, could call home.
The inventory is coming to life based on criteria that the commission has put together, based on feedback from the information-gathering stage. The information stage included outreach to the 26 families, which is ongoing, as well as to emergency personnel, families whose children were enrolled in Sandy Hook School on 12/14, staff members employed at Sandy Hook School on 12/14, and the community at large.
The criteria being considered is: current infrastructure and accessibility, a location secluded and free from noise, natural settings and views, as well as the property’s proximity to Sandy Hook.
The commission has set up a subcommittee to lead the process of finding an appropriate location, led by commission vice chairman Alan Martin. The subcommittee is working with town officials, state officials, and organizations within Newtown that oversee land parcels in the community. Additionally, the committee is utilizing the expertise of Rob Sibley, deputy director of planning and land use in Newtown.
The other town organizations include Fairfield Hills Authority Commission and Newtown Forest Association. The forest association has pledged support for the commission, but is not in a position to offer any properties for consideration as a memorial site.
It is the goal of the commission to create a short list of locations, walk the grounds of these locations, and make a decision on a specific location, prior to January 1, 2016. The commission will assure that the 26 families who want to be part of this process are involved in the decision-making at this stage.
Residents who own land that may be appropriate for the consideration by the commission, based on the top-line criteria outlined, are asked to contact the commission at SandyHookPermanentMemorial@gmail.com by August 28.
“We want to assure we create a comprehensive list of location options,” SHPMC Commission Chairman Kyle Lyddy said. “Should there be private land options available that a resident is willing to contribute, we’d love to understand what those are, and if they fit into our criteria.
“If there isn’t, we will continue on the path of finding the most appropriate space possible with the resources we are dealt,” Mr Lyddy added. “We just simply want to do our due diligence in assuring we have all options on the table.”
The commission has not identified a specific design for this project, however it is working simultaneously on understanding how best to accept design proposals. It has been agreed that once a location is identified, the design and selection process will commence.