MacArthur Elementary School Designs Move Forward

By Erika Mahoney

December 21, 2012 Updated Dec 21, 2012 at 1:02 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) While preparing for a meeting on the design process for the new MacArthur Elementary School, school leaders found out FEMA now has the money obligated for the project.

Earlier this week, FEMA had pledged nearly $20 million, but the obligation means money is available to cover renovation costs of the project.

The figures for the final cost are still being finalized, but FEMA will pay for 75% of the new building and New York State will pay for the rest.

"We are really, really excited to be at the point we are at with these approvals and this financial obligation," said Steve Deinhardt, BCSD Assistant Superintendent of Administration. "It's a piece that has difficult. We are glad that all of the people on our team have been able to get to this point."

Superintendent of Schools Peggy Wozniak said the obligation will help speed up design plans.

"We should be able to move quickly now through the good news we received from FEMA that we have crossed over that hurdle," said Wozniak. "We can really move forward quickly now on the design and the build, and get this new facility in place for our students and our community."

The plans for the new building are still in a schematic design phase.

That means there is a general picture with the number of classrooms, and where the gymnasium and cafeteria will most likely be.

On Thursday, the public was invited to take a look at those plans and offer feedback.

Not wanting to speculate when the plans will be final, school officials said they are holding off on providing a construction date.