Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JUN 2017

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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During the first week of September 2011, remnants from Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Irene devastated the Binghamton, N.Y. area, including MacArthur Elementary School in the Binghamton City School District. Binghamton (pop. 47,376) is just north of the Pennsylvania border in a bowl-shaped valley where the Susquehanna and Chenango rivers meet. The Binghamton metro area is home to a quarter million people. On the second day of the 2011 storm, floodwaters on the school grounds rose to 4 feet. Post-flood testing revealed the building walls had been contaminated with multiple types of pathogens. FEMA's assessment of the damage was that the school building was a total loss. The students and faculty had to be relocated. Over the next three years classes were held at two separate locations while the demolition of the flood damaged school and new construction on the old site were underway. The design intent for the new construction was to implement a sustainable site, fully mindful of course that the location was in the flood plain of the Susquehanna River. It was imperative to design a flood resistant and safe environment without negatively impacting the surrounding flood plain. To that end, the project team used recycled materials and implemented efficient storm water management practices, while restoring the habitat and relationship between the river and the community. MacArthur Elementary School Binghamton City, N.Y. Landscape Architecture by Appel Osborne The pitched roofs of the new MacArthur Elementary buildings drain rainwater to a center point where scuppers direct the flow to this bioretention area near the school's main entrance. It's designed to contain and treat a 10-year storm and is planted with native wet-tolerant plants, such as palm sedge and Louisiana iris, and has four feet of filter media. The school's location at the confluence of the Susquehanna and the Chenango Rivers on the south side of downtown Binghamton, N.Y. made it one of the worst hit areas during the 2011 flood. 34 Landscape Architect and Specifier News Continued on page 36

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