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Newtown approves state funds for new school at site of massacre

By Noreen O'Donnell

(Reuters) - Residents in Newtown, Connecticut, have voted to accept nearly $50 million in state money to build a new school at the site of an elementary school where a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six adults in December, a town official said on Sunday.

The referendum on the Sandy Hook Elementary School, held on Saturday, passed 4,504 to 558, said John Vouros, a Board of Education member.

On December 14, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who had grown up in the town, killed his mother before driving to the school, where he killed 20 children and six adults. He then turned the gun on himself.

The shooting, and the fact that most of its victims were 6- and 7-year-olds, stunned the country.

The town plans to demolish the school and build a new school on the site. Sandy Hook students have been moved temporarily to the former Chalk Hill school in the nearby town of Monroe.

Selectman Jim Gaston told the Danbury News Times the vote was "a major step forward in the healing process."

(Editing by Edith Honan and Mohammad Zargham)