NEWTOWN, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Sandy Hook Elementary School is coming down.
Workers have begun demolishing the school building where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults, the town's top elected leader said Thursday.
Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra said small-scale demolition is under way at Sandy Hook and the project will take several weeks.
"The process of demolition is incremental, staged precisely and executed carefully," she said. "There is no wrecking ball action; it is rather a piece-by-piece, section-by-section removal."
Sandy Hook was the site of a massacre last December in which Adam Lanza fatally shot the 26 people before he turned the gun on himself. He also killed his mother at her home.
A task force of 28 Newtown elected officials voted unanimously in May to raze the Sandy Hook Elementary School and build a new one on the property where the existing school is located.
Newtown has accepted a $50 million state grant for the project, and a new school is expected to open by December 2016. Students have been attending classes in a neighboring town.
Contractors are being asked to destroy materials to eliminate nearly every trace of the building, an effort Llodra has said is intended to protect the victims' privacy and keep people from taking parts of the building as souvenirs. Contractors also are required to sign confidentiality agreements to forbid public discussion of the site and the building.
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