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Albany High School facilities project moves forward

December 2016 update

Project at a glance

New construction will include a three-story academic building behind the school and a new building for art and music classrooms. The school’s open courtyard also will be enclosed.

 

Renovations will include a complete makeover of the current three-story academic wing, which will include space for career and technical education programs currently housed three blocks away at Abrookin Career and Technical Center.

 

Other renovations ahead include completely replacing the school’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, adding a new 200-seat balcony to the auditorium and creating new space for physical-education classes, including jogging lanes in the main gym.

 

The fully renovated and rebuilt facility will expand the size of the current building by about 50 percent. Today’s Albany High building is 313,430 square feet; the new and improved Albany High will be 561,400 square feet.

The failing roof was replaced during the summer of 2016 and ground broken in October on renovation of the pool building as progress unfolds in the remaking of Albany High School.

 

Voters approved a $179.9 million plan in February to renovate and rebuild the 41-year-old building in four phases over the next nine years. Click here to learn more about events leading up to the vote.

 

What’s happened since the vote

Summer 2016: The first order of business was replacing Albany High’s failing roof. Construction started and finished ahead of time.

 

Also over the summer, architects met with faculty and staff to get more input on the renovation and rebuilding plans, which call for four phases of construction over a seven-year period.

 

October 2016: The district began renovations on the high school’s pool facility. The pool has been out of service since a large section of the outside wall collapsed during a period of extreme cold in March 2015. Two months later, voters approved a tax-free referendum to fully renovate the pool building.

 

The $4 million pool renovation is part of a $14 million package of repairs and upgrades at 14 district buildings that has no tax impact.

 

Work on the pool building is scheduled to finish in April. Albany High’s boys’ and girls’ swim teams, displaced since the pool closure, will be back home next school year. The school district also will reinstate a learn-to-swim program for second-graders that has been put on hold while the pool is out of service.

 

November 2016: Architects presented the Board of Education with an updated design report. To date, designs call for:

  • Creating five equal-sized smaller-learning communities, or academies

  • Establishing a guidance and student-support suite in each academy with several computers available for student use

  • Moving the  library, or media center, to the front of the building

  • A new 2-story arts and music addition built adjacent to the existing auditorium.

    • For music, this includes:

      • A band/orchestra room for up to 125 students

      • A chorus room for up to 125 students

      • A recording studio that doubles as a classroom

      • Three individual practice rooms

      • One ensemble practice room

      • Access to the auditorium for band and orchestra practice

    • For visual and digital art, this includes

      • Three studio-art rooms

      • Two three-dimensional art rooms

      • One two-dimensional art room

      • Group spaces

      • A new media art lab

      • A TV production room

  • Creating a small theater/performance space that could seat approximately 150 (in addition to providing balcony seating that will be added to the current auditorium)

  • Revamping the athletics facilities, including:

    • Creating three gym stations in the main gymnasium

    • Creating two gym stations in the rubber gymnasium

    • Creating a new weight and fitness center with two gym stations

    • Building a new indoor track

    • Updating the dance studio and wresting room

  • Redesigning more efficient space for career and technical programs

  • Locating three nurses’ offices throughout the building

  • Adding three special-needs classrooms in addition to what was previously planned

  • Adding a third art classroom, a new media art lab and a TV production room

Click the highlighted text to see a summary presented by architects and the full schematic design report reviewed by the school board.

 

What’s next?

After additional tinkering, the completed plan for Phase 1 will be submitted to the State Education for approval sometime in 2017. Plans for subsequent phases will be submitted at a later date.

 

Since the approval process takes about a year, work on the first phase – construction of a new academic building behind the current school – is slated to start in spring 2018 and finish in August 2019.

 

The fourth and last phase of the entire renovation and rebuilding project is scheduled to finish in the summer of 2024.

 

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