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Binghamton MacArthur School Project Delayed

Bob Joseph/WNBF News [file]
The goal of opening Binghamton’s new MacArthur Elementary School in the fall of next year is in jeopardy because the New York State Education Department has yet to approve the project.

Bob Joseph/WNBF News [file]
School superintendent Marion Martinez says the project has fallen “three or four months behind” schedule because Albany regulators haven’t completed their review.

Speaking on WNBF Radio’s Binghamton Now program Monday, Martinez said education department reviewers “continue to have questions” about the heating and ventilation portions of the school design.

The superintendent said she’s “not pushing the panic button yet.” But she indicated things are at a critical point if the district is to realistically hope to meet the original opening date for the Vestal Avenue school.

Martinez said if the state approval isn’t received “in the next week or so,” the district will have to come up with a contingency plan. She said a “drop dead date” is approaching after which the fall 2015 target won’t be realistic.

The superintendent stressed she wasn’t criticizing the education department for “doing its due diligence” prior to signing off on the school project. She said the reviewers want to ensure that the proposed systems will work effectively and efficiently as they’re designed.

The original MacArthur Elementary School was heavily damaged by the 2011 flood. The school’s students now attend class at temporary sites on Binghamton’s West Side and in Hillcrest.


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