New MacArthur Elementary School

Binghamton, New York

  • FIRM

    Ashley McGraw Architects


    Binghamton City School District

  • AREA

    129,000 sq.ft.





Design team

Edward McGraw (Principal-in-Charge), Calvin Ahn (Project Manager), Thomas Anderson (Project Architect), Dave Monaghan (Architectural Designer), Ramon Moll (Project Architect), Natalie Hansen (Architectural Designer), Nicholas Williams (Architectural Designer), Susanne Angarano (Interior Designer)


In 2011, the existing ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$349.00CITATIONWilliam W. Caudill CitationFEATURED IN2016 Architectural Portfolio Elementary School was destroyed when the Chenango and Susquehanna Rivers flooded because of Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Irene. The project sought to redefine what an urban elementary school could be, restore and revitalize the surrounding neighborhood, and create a deeply sustainable and resilient building and site. All stakeholders were engaged in an interactive and inclusive design process; five overarching and qualitative vision statements were created and used as a litmus test for every design decision.

The building is organized so that larger program elements sit along higher ground to the southeast. Three 2-story classroom wings are raised on columns above the ground so that the river may flood and recede naturally over time. Locally sourced bluestone and black locust are the primary exterior materials, detailed to relate to the neighborhood and river sides of the building, respectively. Development of interior spaces was influenced by student input that “learning takes place everywhere and all the time.” Informal collaborative areas and “in-between spaces” accommodate evolving pedagogy.