Owego, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Owego-Apalachin School District has began the planning process for constructing a new elementary school.
The elementary school was destroyed by the 2011 flood, displacing students and causing several headaches for the district.
A meeting was held at the Owego Free Academy on Monday evening for the purpose of informing the community about the progress and plans of the project.
Several common questions and concerns arose among those that attended.
Superintendent Dr. Bill Russell encouraged the public to ask these questions, with the hopes of having community involvement and support on the project.
Dr. Russell pointed out that the re-build site will be at the same location as the previous school, for many good reasons. The current location is in the heart of the campus, creating a safe and tight-knit community for students and family.
Although codes require flood-proof buildings to be constructed at a certain level, the Owego-Apalachin School District plans to go beyond that, building the new facilities almost two feet above the 500-year flood level.
Many residents are worried about taxes rising, although that apparently will not be an issue. A large chunk of the construction will be funded through insurance, as well as both state and federal emergency monies, and from FEMA.
Students, parents, and other community members are thrilled that plans for the new school have been put into motion.
"It's going to be a beautiful new facility that will serve this town and village well for the next 40 to 50 years. It will be a nice attraction for young families to move to Owego to have their children go to a beautiful new school, so I think it is going to be a big hit when we're done," said Russell.
Floor plans and building designs are in the process of being drawn up and are not near finalizing yet.
Future informative meetings will be held to keep the school community and Owego residents informed.
The district has established two new e-mail addresses for those who would like to share their ideas for the new school, and those who have questions about the project.
Those e-mail addresses are as follows: