Disappointed by the outcome but committed to the
need, the City School District of Albany began
looking ahead Nov. 12 following the defeat of
the proposal to renovate and rebuild Albany High
“No” votes held a narrow and unofficial 103-vote
margin following the opening of absentee ballots from all 15 city wards.
“No” votes had a 10-vote edge after the general election Nov. 3.
Nearly 11,700 total votes were cast.
“I am extremely disappointed for the students of
Albany,” said Superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, Ph.D. “We came
close, and I’m excited about that. We’ll go back to the drawing board
and work with the board to decide if we will give it another shot. I
still remain hopeful.”
The $196 million proposal would have repaired and
replaced outdated systems and equipment, expanded the school to
accommodate growing enrollment, moved the career and technical education
courses into the main school from a separate facility three blocks away,
addressed major safety concerns and fully renovated the academic
The next steps began with a board Facilities
Committee meeting Nov. 18 and will continue with a discussion at the
full board meeting Nov.
19. The board, too, was disappointed by the final outcome but encouraged
that nearly 5,800 people voted “yes.”
“The closeness of this vote shows that many of our
citizens are very aware of our needs for our facilities,” said board
President Ginnie Farrell. “The board needs to get together and decide
next steps, and we will do that work beginning next week.”
Find out more about the proposal
There were many ways to learn more about the proposal that voters
rejected in November.
The district also reached out to school and
community organizations city-wide to schedule presentations about the
proposal. A community meeting and public tours of Albany High also were
scheduled. Here is a list of those presentations in advance of the Nov.
Monday, Nov. 2 -- Re-Imagining Albany High Q&A and
Tour, 6 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 29 -- Board
of Education meeting, Giffen Memorial Elementary School, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 28:
Albany Booster Club meeting, Albany High
School media center, 6 p.m.
Mansion Neighborhood Association, 6 p.m.
Pine Bush Neighborhood Association, 7
Tuesday, Oct. 27 -- Eagle Hill Neighborhood
Association, 6:30 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 26:
Albany High School public tour, 6 p.m.
Arbor Hill Neighborhood Association, 6
Second Avenue Neighborhood Association,
Thursday, Oct. 22:
Albany Academy PTA and Parent University meeting, 5 p.m.
A Village meeting, Capital South Campus
Center, 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 21
Albany High School
Parent Coffee meeting, 10 a.m.
Delaware Community School PTA,
Tuesday, Oct. 20:
School of Humanities (ASH) PTA, 6:30 p.m.
Upper Washington Neighborhood
Association, 7 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 19:
High School public tour, 6 p.m.
Stephen and Harriet Myers Middle School
PTSA, 6:30 p.m.
Thomas O'Brien Academy of Science and
Technology PTA, 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 15:
of Education meeting, Arbor Hill Elementary School, 7 p.m.
Pine Hills Neighbohood Association, 7
Wednesday, Oct. 14:
New Scotland Elementary School PTA, 4
Eagle Point Elementary School PTA, 6:15
New Albany Neighborhood Association,
Tuesday, Oct. 13:
Giffen Memorial Elementary School PTA, 8
Albany High School public tour, 6 p.m.
Pine Hills Elementary School PTA, 6 p.m.
Melrose Neighborhood Association, 6:30
Beverwyck Neighborhood Association, 7
Saturday, Oct. 10 -- Albany
High School public tour, 9:30 a.m.
Thursday, Oct. 8:
Wednesday, Oct. 7:
Monday, Oct. 5 --
High School PTSA, 6:45 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 30 --
Board of Education meeting, Albany School of Humanities, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 29 --
Montessori Community Council, 6:30 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 28 --
Re-Imagining Albany High School Town Hall Meeting, Albany High
School, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 22 --
End Neighborhood Association, 7 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 21 --
Sheridan Hollow Neighborhood Association, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 16:
Helderberg Neighborhood Association, 7
Hudson Park Neighborhood
Association, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 3 -- Board
of Education meeting, Stephen and Harriet Myers Middle School, 7
If you have additional questions, or would like to schedule a
presentation for your group of 10 or more, please contact
Director of Communications Ron Lesko at 475-6065 or
minimizes tax impact
Construction would be extended over seven years and accomplished in four
phases to maximize state aid
and reduce the cost to taxpayers. Following the September price reduction
to $196 million, the impact on homeowners also
will be less.
The impact on homeowners with Basic STAR
would range from $42-$77 each year on homes assessed from $150,000-$250,000. With
Enhanced STAR for seniors, the project would cost $30-$64 each year on homes
assessed in the $150,000-$250,000 range.
A bigger, better high school our students and community need and
second-oldest city, Albany never has had a public high school that met
all of its students' needs on one campus. The
proposed $196 million project would provide that for the city for the
first time, expanding the school by nearly 50 percent and providing new
or significant updates to all aspects of the current 41-year-old
facility located at 700 Washington Ave.
The new Albany High
would include five smaller learning communities -- including a new
three-story academic wing -- specifically designed to meet future
program goals. Albany High currently has four smaller learning
communities that were retrofitted into the aging facility four years
When it is completed, the expanded school would allow staff to manage
increases in student enrollment that are projected over the next decade.
Albany High finished the 2014-15 school year with about 2,300 students,
but enrollment projections anticipate that figure growing to 3,000 or
alone won’t solve the academic challenges many Albany High students
encounter, but the project will help staff design better programs to
meet the needs of all students.
“The building does not
make the program,” then-Albany High Principal and current Assistant
Superintendent for Instruction Cecily Wilson-Turner said. “The program
fits into the building. So the better our physical space is the better
our programs for students can be.”
project would add a second
academic wing, a new auditorium and fine-arts center, and a welcome and wellness center accessible to the
community. It also would include space for all of Albany High’s career
and technical education programs, currently located three blocks away at
the Abrookin Career and Technical Center.
renovations would include the current academic building and gym, which
would be expanded and also would include an indoor running track. A
second auxiliary gym also would be added to provide more options and
access for students to physical education classes geared toward fitness
activities like they will encounter after high school. The
school’s open courtyard would be enclosed to create a common area and
glass-paneled atrium. Enclosing the courtyard also would add more
learning space inside the building.
You can read a
for additional coverage; please note that the board
since has reduced the proposed cost to $196 million.
Doing nothing is not an option
Doing nothing is not an option for Albany High School any longer.
Designed in the 1960s and built in the early 1970s, the school no
longer can meet teaching and learning needs of today's students. It is
falling apart in many areas and, like many public facilities across the
state and nation, it presents safety challenges in today’s world. It also is too small
to accommodate the projected enrollment growth the district predicts for
future years, when the school's student body is expected to grow from
about 2,500 students to 3,000 or more.
Major investments are needed in our city’s public high school to
benefit our students and community.
The cost of necessary repairs and upgrades -- such as the failing
heating and air conditioning systems, and the aging roof -- is estimated
at $55.7 million. The cost of an addition to serve the anticipated
enrollment growth would be about $45.6 million. The cost of that work,
at more than $100 million combined, would do nothing to address the
overall learning environment throughout the school, the remote location
of the career and technical education programs or the persistent safety
and security concerns the school presents in its current layout.
"We know that doing nothing is not an option," said
Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs Bill Hogan. "We can either
approach this brick-by-brick or system-by-system or project-by-project,
or, what we've tried to do is package addressing the current needs that
we know of and plan for future enrollment. And from a programmatic
standpoint we believe that the way we are designing the building will
set the stage for 21st-century learning and better match the way we
teach today versus the way we were teaching in the early '70s when this
Please follow the links below to read more about the process of
Re-Imagining Albany High School: