It’s a bittersweet day for the Owego community as demolition of the Owego Elementary School began this morning. The building, which was heavily damaged by the flood of September 2011, will be torn down to make way for a new building which the district hopes to have built two years from now. Superintendent Dr. Bill Russell spoke today not only about the building being brought down, but the look of the new building that will soon be in its place.
On hand for the demolition were former principals of the Owego Elementary, including Frank Orlando who was the principal when the building first opened in 1965. Former principal Penny Zandy spoke about the new beginning for the Owego community.
As elementary students are currently being bused to Endicott for school, some face one way bus-rides of over an hour. Several 5th graders were on hand to witness the first steps of the demolition process. The demolition itself is scheduled to take two to three weeks, with cleanup taking until the middle of the summer. Dr. Russell also spoke about the cost of the new building.
FEMA, along with the state, is expected to pick up most of the cost of the initial construction.