Published: Oct 24, 2013 4:16 PM EDT

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) - The top elected leader in Newtown, Conn., says workers have begun demolishing the elementary school where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults.
    
First Selectman Pat Llodra (LOH'-drah) says small-scale demolition is underway at the old Sandy Hook Elementary School building and the project will take several weeks. She said Thursday the building will be removed in pieces and there will be no wrecking ball action.
    
The gunman killed his mother at home before going to the school Dec. 14. He committed suicide as police arrived.
    
Newtown has accepted a $50 million state grant to raze the building and build a new school, 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.

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