ven the worst tragedies can become a source of
inspiration. It’s a truth illustrated by the project
team that built a new Sandy Hook Elementary
School in Newtown, Connecticut, USA. The three-year, US$50 million project was completed in
August, nearly four years after the previous school
was the site of the country’s deadliest mass shooting at a primary or secondary school. Many in the
community couldn’t imagine sending students back
to the old school.
“We had to create a new beginning for a community that was still healing from something no
one could have ever expected,” says Alana Konefal,
senior designer, Svigals + Partners, New Haven,
Rebuilding a school—and a heartbroken community—was possible only through intense and thoughtful stakeholder management and careful attention to
security requirements. Staying in sync with parents,
teachers and community leaders was the only way
for the project team to deliver the safe and nurturing
learning environment students deserved.
“There was a big void to fill in this community,”
Ms. Konefal says. “The entire design and construction team shared the community’s desire to bring
the children back to their neighborhood school.”
A project team focuses on stakeholder management to help a
traumatized community rebuild a school.
BY SARAH PROTZMAN HOWLETT