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Students Begin Classes at New MacArthur Elementary School

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A first day of school of a different kind this Monday as students at MacArthur Elementary School in Binghamton enjoyed a homecoming more than four years in the making.

Students and teachers said they had a nice first day in the new MacArthur building.

Broome County’s 2011 flood, caused by Tropical Storm Lee, displaced MacArthur Elementary School students into the St. Thomas of Aquinas and St. Francis of Assissi schools.

“It’s probably one of the worst things that’s ever happened to the teachers. I mean we lost everything,” said Third Grade Teacher Jackie Coleman.

Now a new state-of-the-art campus is back on the original grounds.

Third grade teacher Jackie Coleman, whose class was right near the river, says it’s nice to be back.

“I think because it’s on the same land that made me feel much more comfortable. It’s the same neighborhood with the caring community that we had around us for the whole time. So that was just wonderful,” said Coleman.

However, after being in the temporary schools for more than four years, its a bit to get used to.

"I was kind of sad, sort of. In fourth grade it felt like that was my home because I’d been there for so long,” said 5th Grader Melanie Layish.

Students say luckily they have familiar friendly faces to help them through the new transition.

“When I got off the bus this morning, there was just a line of teachers with posters that said, ‘Welcome Home.’ And I felt very special to be here,” said 5th Grader Carmella DiRenzo.

So far, 3rd through 5th graders have returned. The rest of the school is expected to begin classes on January 4th.