More than 5,000 people voted. More than 4,500 voted to tear down and rebuild.
A referendum to accept a $50 million grant from the state of Connecticut to build a new Sandy Hook elementary school passed by an overwhelming margin in Newtown on Saturday.
The final tally was 4,504 voting yes, to 558 voting no, announced after 14 hours of voting at Newtown Middle School closed at 8 p.m. on Saturday night.
Voter turnout was higher than expected, Newtown Board of Education chair Debbie Leidlein told NBC Connecticut.
Leading up to the vote, the Sandy Hook Parent Teacher Association, who unanimously voted last week to pass the referendum, ran a “Text Five on October 5” campaign, asking parents to text message five people to vote on Saturday.
Sandy Hook school students have been bussed to Chalk Hill Middle School, in the neighboring town of Monroe, since reopening after the tragedy. It is estimated that the new school will opened January 2016.
Once the old school is knocked down, the new Sandy Hook school will be built in the same location on Dickinson Drive in Newtown.
After 20 students and six teachers were killed in the massacre on Sandy Hook school on December 14, 2012, the state lawmakers voted to earmark $50 million in grant money to pay for the destruction of the current school and rebuilding the new school without impacting local taxes. If Newtown voted no on the referendum, the money would have disappeared.