Board Takes Last Look at MacArthur School Designs

By Matt Porter

February 5, 2013 Updated Feb 6, 2013 at 12:28 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) More than a year after the flood destroyed the MacArthur elementary school in 2011, the final designs before the Binghamton City School Board votes were revealed Tuesday night.

Architects estimate the proposed new school will cost $79 million to build, but the cost to the school district will be just less than $3 million.

The rest will be paid through federal and state funds, including more than $50 million in FEMA grants.

Officials working with the school board said the project is an opportunity to build a high tech building at just a fraction of the cost to taxpayers.

"You're able to pay a local share at 2.9 million on the cost of a building that's 70 plus million dollars. And by doing it, you can enhance it that will allow it to create savings over a reasonable period of time," said Consultant and Retired Assistant Superintendent Steven Deinhardt.

Most of the new school will be built high above the flood plain and designers estimate energy efficiencies will save the school district money in the long term.

The final design must be passed by both the school board and voters before moving forward.