Bringing Back MacArthur (Photos)

By Brandi Bailey

October 15, 2013 Updated Oct 15, 2013 at 7:10 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The flood of 2011 destroyed much of the Southern Tier, including MacArthur Elementary School.

After more than two years, students, staff and members of the community are ready to move towards the future while not forgetting the past.

"Still when I look there I can't visualize that the water got so high that it got over here. I mean I really don't believe it even though I know it's true. Doesn't it sound amazing to you that it could have gone that high. Unbelievable," former teacher Sonia Kessler said.

For Kessler, a former teacher of 25 years at MacArthur, the demolition brings back memories of her time at the school.

"We taught and we did a good job, but we had fun," Kessler said.

Kessler said building a new school in the same location is the only way to do justice to the school and all it's done for students before and after the flood.

"Keep those memories, but be the historians. Be the story tellers. Share those memories so people don't forget about this wonderful building," former teacher Sherry Laskowski said.

"It has been a journey. I think the biggest thing that we look forward to bringing our kids back together again. They've been separated and we're very very excited," Principal Maria McIver said.

Once the demolition is completed, construction is set to begin in January.

The new building is set to be open for the 2015 school year.

"It's one year, 328 days until that moment," McIver said.

It's a moment student and staff keep present in their minds.

The school will be built 5 feet above to 500 year flood plane and provide state or the art education for students for years to come.