Workers are starting with a small-scale demolition that involves piece-by-piece dismantling, rather than a blunt wrecking ball approach. Tearing the school down is expected to take several weeks.
A brand-new Sandy Hook will be built on a modified version of the original site. In May, a task force unanimously voted to keep the school on the original property after deliberating whether or not to forego demolition and renovate the school.
The process is being kept as quiet as possible, and access to the site will be closed to the public. Contractors have also signed confidentiality agreements and crews are being asked to take extra steps to pulverize and dispose of every remnant of the old Sandy Hook. Town officials decided to take the precautions to protect the privacy of the victims' families and avoid any exploitation of materials that might be found at the scene.
As for the Newtown community itself, The Associated Press reports that many there are feeling relief.
"We're a very strong community, and we're going to overcome this," Bill Clark, who lives across the street from Sandy Hook, said. "We're going to move on, and they're going to put up another beautiful school and we're going to move on."
The new Sandy Hook is expected to be completed by December 2016. Since the shooting, students have been attending school about 10 miles away at Chalk Hill Elementary in nearby Monroe, Conn. Newtown has decided not to formally mark the shooting's one-year anniversary on Dec. 14.