Legislators approve funding to renovate Roosevelt elementary

Published: Jun. 12, 2023 at 8:18 PM EDT
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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Help could be on the way to building a new Roosevelt Elementary in Binghamton.

This past Wednesday, state lawmakers passed legislation to allow the Binghamton Central School District to access two times their multi-year cost allowance in a five-year period, for the computation of building aid for a construction project to improve Theodore Roosevelt elementary school.

According to the lawmakers, Roosevelt serves the most economically challenged population in the city of Binghamton, with 84% of the children qualifying for Snap benefits.

Roosevelt has been designated as a failing school due to having asbestos throughout 85% of the building, and the size of its classrooms does not meet minimum standards for the number of students.

“We as a community have to do all that we can to ensure that we support our learners, our children, and their teachers and their families,” said State Senator Lea Webb. “This legislation is a step in helping to ensure that Roosevelt can remain open.”

“We extend our deepest appreciation to Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and State Senator Lea Webb who supported the passing of bills that will grant BCSD early access to funds needed to rebuild Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School,” said President of the Binghamton City School District Board of Education Brian Whalen. “Both have advocated tirelessly for our lone north side community school and we are so grateful for their efforts. From Albany to Binghamton, we are so touched by the remarkable support for the rebuild of Roosevelt, and we look forward to Governor Hochul’s support in signing this bill and giving this underserved section of the city a 21st-century school.”

The legislation now awaits Governor Kathy Hochul’s signature to approve the funding.

The school district is considering multiple options for the school, including constructing a new building on the adjacent playfields, abating the existing building of hazardous materials, and constructing a new classroom wing with connections to the existing building.