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NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) - The concrete barriers and orange traffic cones blocking the driveway of the elementary school where a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six educators will soon be replaced by a black iron gate that officials hope will improve the property's image and keep out gawkers.

Sandy Hook Elementary School and its driveway have been closed to the public since Dec. 14, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot 26 people and himself at the school after killing his mother at their Newtown home. The motive remains unclear.

A local task force in May approved a plan to tear down the school and build a new one on the same property using a $50 million grant from the state. The proposal, which still must be approved by town residents, includes relocating the main driveway down the street and using the old driveway for emergency access only.

Since the shooting, the driveway has been blocked by concrete barriers and traffic cones, with a police officer guarding the site around the clock. The school isn't visible from the street.

First Selectman Pat Llodra told The Newtown Bee that the gate will improve the property's appearance and be a better visual deterrent to occasional visitors hoping to get a glimpse of the school.

"Maybe we can do a little landscaping around the gate to make the area look more presentable," she said.

Officials say the gate will be similar to black iron fencing at local parks and other sites in town.

The timeline for the new school project calls for demolishing the school in November.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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