An expensive project to clean the badly-discolored wood siding on Binghamton's MacArthur Elementary School has been finished.

The work at the South Side complex was performed by Driscoll Masonry of Skaneateles Falls. A city school district spokeswoman said the project cost was $64,680.

The $80 million school opened less than six years ago. School district director of human resources and operations Eric Wilson has said the black locust wood cladding was expected to "develop a consistent gray patina over time."

A view of the north side of the MacArthur Elementary School on August 25, 2021. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

But the exterior of the school's buildings soon became discolored. Gideon Driscoll of Driscoll Masonry said workers pressure washed mildew off the wood using hot water. He said the work took about three weeks to complete.

Driscoll said "it went pretty easy once we got started."

The school district spokeswoman said the wood at the school "is extremely dense and non-porous therefore sealants would not help with maintenance."

In a statement to WNBF News, she said the district is looking into a maintenance schedule that "involves more frequent but less extensive cleaning that can be done by our own staff."

Binghamton's MacArthur Elementary School is located on Vestal Avenue. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: or (607) 772-8400 extension 233.

For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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