GE Donates $15 Million for Newtown Community Center
General Electric has donated $15 million to Newtown to build and operate a community center. Town officials said that following the shooting deaths last December of 20 children and six educators at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, it was clear the town lacked a central meeting space.
More than 150 employees of Fairfield-based GE live in Newtown. GE CEO Jeff Immelt said that over the last year, GE employees who live in Newtown also identified a community center as among the town's greatest needs.
The town said it will use $10 million to build the center and $5 million for operating costs, including hiring staff, over five years. The center will be owned and operated by the town.
GE is the employer of Peter Lanza, the father of Newtown gunman Adam Lanza. Peter Lanza issued a statement the day after the massacre in which he expressed sympathy for the victims' families, and said his own family was struggling to make sense of what happened.
Earlier this year, GE Capital terminated agreements with small firearms dealers that had helped to finance customers' gun purchases. At the time, a spokesman said that "industry changes, new legislation and tragic events" led to the policy change.
Information from the Associated Press included in this report.