HARTFORD, Conn. — The latest proposed site for a permanent memorial to the Sandy Hook school shooting victims has been rejected because planners say it is too close to a nearby hunting and fishing club.
The chairman of the Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission, Kyle Lyddy, said Friday the commission felt it would be inappropriate to put a memorial near the Potatuck Club, where gunshots can be routinely heard.
“It’s been brought up that any location we go to in Newtown there may be an audible sound of gunfire, in hunting season specifically,” he said. “But the frequency, because of how close this was to the club, is just inconsistent with what we were looking to do.”
Lyddy said the commission, which has been working for three years on plans for a memorial to the 26 victims of the December 2012 shooting, has a number of criteria for a site, many of which were requested by the victims’ families.
Among other things, the group wants a location that is relatively secluded and would be a destination, not something townspeople would have to drive by every day. It also wants a site that is not too close to the new Sandy Hook Elementary School, has no environmental issues and is out of earshot of sirens or gunfire, Lyddy said.
He said the commission is working its way through more than a dozen potential sites.
The first proposed site, which was on the grounds of the former Fairfield Hills psychiatric hospital, was rejected because it is considered open space and conservationists opposed building anything there, he said.
“It’s a very sensitive subject,” Lyddy said. “Some of the locations that were brought to us were rejected right away. Some we might take a second look at. We are beginning to realize that we may not find a site with everything on our list. We need to pick a location that makes sense for as many people as possible.”
Lyddy said they also are coming up with criteria for the memorial itself and will finalize a document to send to potential designers once a site is selected.
He said there is no timetable for the memorial’s completion, noting a memorial to the victims of the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado took almost a decade to complete. That memorial opened in 2007.