via Danbury News Times. Link HERE
NEWTOWN — The group charged with choosing a design for a memorial to victims of the Sandy Hook massacre wondered what it would do if it asked for proposals and none of the blueprints submitted were suitable.
That could still happen, of course, but with the deadline for submissions now passed, and 150 design proposals sent in from across the United States and 20 other countries, it’s less likely that the Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission will be disappointed.
“We are really pleased with the quantity of submissions we’ve received,” said Kyle Lyddy, the group’s chairman.
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The group is pleased — and overwhelmed.
So many submissions came in at Friday’s deadline, Lyddy said, that the group was still uploading designs Tuesday.
The memorial commission will begin reviewing the proposals one by one and in public starting Jan. 3.
Just how many proposals the group will be able to review in one sitting remains to be seen. Four public review dates have been set, with the likelihood that more dates will have to be scheduled in February.
The design review brings Newtown to the final phase of a 41/2-year process to build a memorial to the 20 first-graders and six educators slain at Sandy Hook School on Dec. 14, 2012.
The winning design will help Newtown and everyone who was touched by one of the worst crimes in Connecticut history balance grief with gratitude.
“The memorial should communicate the tragic and sudden loss of the innocent lives and the silence this event left behind, but at the same time celebrate the strength and the courage of the educators who died protecting the children,” read the guidelines released by the group in the fall.
The memorial will be erected in a quiet 5-acre meadow in the heart of Sandy Hook — near enough to the $50 million replacement school to hear sounds from the playground on a still day.
The 12 members of the memorial commission will focus their first round of design review on the creativity of each application, Lyddy said.
The memorial commission, which includes parents of children who died in the Sandy Hook massacre, will be assisted by an advisory panel that includes Joe Daniels, the former president of the 9/11 Memorial, and Pat Llodra, the recently retired first selectman.
The plan is to narrow down the designs to about one dozen. At that point, public participation will be encouraged, and the review will include scrutiny of the designers themselves, Lyddy said.
Once the list of one dozen is narrowed again to a short list, the commission would make a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen.
The town has earmarked $250,000 in its capital budget toward the memorial. Another $160,000 is available for the memorial from donations.