Building a new place to call home (Photos)
Owego,NY (WBNG Binghamton) As the saying goes when one door closes, another one opens. That's the mantra adopted by the Owego-Apalachin School district as an old school's torn down. "Sounds almost humorous but it wasn't. We're going through a step that we've already been through," said former principal, Frank Orlando. For the second time, a new school will be built on this site. The first school was constructed in 1965. Now, after the 2011 flooding, the Owego Elementary school is in the demolition phase of it's rebuild. "About half of the new building will be a two story building, and the other half will be one story. It will have a nice auditorium which this building did not have," said Superintendent, Dr. Bill Russell. Construction of the $60 million school will be funded primarily by FEMA. The rest of the school's funding will come from State Office of Emergency and the State Education Department. "Because we're building in a flood plain this building will be raised about waste high to make sure we don't have any flood problems in the future," Russell said. Until they can return to the new Owego Elementary School, students will continue to attend class at the old Linnaeus W. West Primary School. "Going to LWW was kind of scary because you're all the way up in Endicott and you're so far away from your home. It was just kind of scary," Sara Zepkowski said. "I'm sad because I've been in that school since I was in Kindergarten and I don't want to see it go," Tashina York said. With a new door opening in Owego, students and staff are all in agreement that they're ready to come home. Demolition should be done within the next few weeks. Crews have to work carefully around asbestos found in the school's flooring adhesive that has to be handled carefully. School officials hope the new building will be finished within the next two years.