Voters show strong support for district facilities proposals
ALBANY, N.Y. (Nov. 7, 2012) – Voters in the Nov. 6 elections
strongly supported the City School Distirct of Albany’s proposals to buy
the former New Covenant Charter School building and to sell the former
Philip Livingston Magnet Academy at a reduced price.
With final official results not yet available Nov. 7,
voters had approved the proposition to buy the abandoned New Covenant
building by nearly a 2-to-1 margin, 15,788-8,446, or a 65-percent
Voters had approved the district’s proposal to
subdivide the Livingston property and reduce the sale price by nearly a
5-to-1 margin, 19,768-4,394, or an 82-percent approval rate.
“We are thankful to our community once again for its
support of our school district and our students,” said Superintendent
Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, Ph.D. “We believe this support will allow us
to continue our responsibility to provide sound financial stewardship
while also providing our students with the best possible programs and
facilities that our community can afford.”
The distirct is negotiating to buy New Covenant for $2.5 million
with funds from the pending sales of the
Shall the Board of Education of the Albany
City School District be authorized to purchase the real property
located at 50 North Lark Street, in the City of Albany, at a
price not to exceed $2,500,000, plus usual and customary closing
Learning Center (the former Schuyler Elementary
School/Albany High School on North Lake between Western and Washington)
and Livingston (on Northern Boulevard).
The New Covenant purchase (Proposition #1 at right) is
contingent on the sale of at least one of those buildings.
Also on the Nov. 6 ballot, voters gave the district approval to
reduce the minimum sale price for Livingston to $2.5 million
(Proposition #2 below). The building and surrounding
property has been for sale
since May 2010, but due to
market conditions the district will subdivide the
property to keep Livingston's four-acre "front lawn" along Northern
Boulevard and lower the minimum sale price from
the $3.25 million that voters approved in in May 2011.
for more information about both ballot questions.
Over the past three years, the district has sold or
is in the process of selling six old buildings. Buying the 12-year-old
New Covenant building, using funds from the sale of outdated buildings
that would cost the district tens of millions of dollars to maintain and
operate, is an excellent opportunity for the district, city and
taxpayers, said board President Egan said.
The transaction also will allow the district to
reopen, with no tax impact, a school that has been abandoned.
The district initially
will lease the New Covenant building beginning in January, with an option to buy it for $2.5 million.
If the district is able to exercise that option within the first 12
months, at least 75 percent of the lease payments will be applied to
Shall the Board of Education of the Albany
City School District be authorized to sell the real property and
buildings thereon, located at 315 Northern Boulevard, Albany, NY
(commonly known as the Philip Livingston Magnet Academy), for a
total price of not less than $2,500,000, to be sold in one or
more parcels, less usual and customary closing costs?
Located at 50 Lark Drive in Arbor Hill, New Covenant
has been boarded up for more than two years. The charter school closed
at the end of the 2009-10 school year due to a poor academic and
The district would breathe new life into the vacant
building, relocating its Alternative Learning Center programs there. The facility also would provide the district with long-term
flexibility to manage the trend of growing enrollment.
In addition to revitalizing a vacant charter school
in the heart of Arbor Hill, the opportunity also would provide the
district with full access to the Arbor Hill Community Center. That
facility, attached to the rear of the New Covenant building, includes a
swimming pool, gym, offices and meeting rooms.
The mission of the City School District of
Albany is to educate and nurture all students to be
responsible citizens, critical thinkers and lifelong learners to
successfully compete in the global community by providing an
academically rigorous and safe environment in partnership with parents,
students and the community. The district serves about 8,600
students in 15
elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood
schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as
well as other innovative academic opportunities for students,
including four themed academies at Albany High