Expansive school renovation plan nears end
Last of 14 schools district rebuilt or renovated opens for the
2010-11 school year
last school to be renovated in the City School District of Albany’s
plan to rebuild or renovate most of its schools has reopened
for the start of the 2010-11 school year.
Arbor Hill Elementary School is back in business now, its renovations
the final piece of this major undertaking that Albany taxpayers approved
in December 2001.
As of today, the district boasts 14 recently renovated or rebuilt
schools, each one energy-efficient and equipped with up-to-the minute
In the end, the district built five brand new schools: Stephen and Harriet Myers
Middle School, Sheridan Preparatory Academy, Montessori Magnet School, Delaware Community
School and Pine Hills Elementary School.
Nine other buildings underwent extensive renovations and/or additions:
Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy, Eagle Point Elementary School,
North Albany Academy, New Scotland Elementary School, the
award-winning William S. Hackett Middle School, Harriet Gibbons High
School, Giffen Memorial Elementary School, Thomas O'Brien Academy of
Science and Technology (TOAST) and the new and improved Arbor Hill
“The intent of the facilities plan was to reshape education in Albany by
putting an end to inequity among schools,” said Superintendent Raymond
Colucciello, Ed.D. “Every school now has the resources necessary to
support learning and be a source of neighborhood pride. We are grateful
to our community for their outstanding support, both at the outset of
this effort and throughout the decade. The result is one of the most
impressive collections of school facilities anywhere in New York
Students and staff were housed in temporary space during many of the
renovations, and Dr. Colucciello commended them for their patience and
In December 2001, Albany voters approved a $176.5
million facilities project seeking to newly build and/or renovate nearly
every elementary and middle school in the City School District of
Albany. The goal of the “comprehensive facilities plan” was to give
every school the resources necessary to help students succeed in the
In June 2003, voters approved an additional $8.7 million to expand the
scope of the plan, bringing the total to $185.2 million. Renovations of
the former Harriet Gibbons High School were completed in 2003.
Sheridan Preparatory Academy and Philip Schuyler
Elementary were early projects on the drawing board and they opened
their doors in September 2004. New the following year were Myers Middle
School and Montessori Magnet School, along with the newly renovated
Eagle Point Elementary School and North Albany Academy.
Delaware Community School and Pine Hills Elementary School opened their
January 2007. A month later, Albany voters approved a $19 million
referendum at no additional cost to taxpayers; this referendum enabled the district to draw matching state dollars
and invest a total of $32 million in renovations to Giffen, TOAST and
Arbor Hill Elementary.
Hackett students returned to their school in September 2008. New
Scotland Elementary School was back in business in January of 2009 and
renovations at Giffen were complete in time for the start of the 2009-10
TOAST students moved back to Lincoln Park in January 2010.
Arbor Hill's move back home in September 2010 -- after a two-year stint
in temporary space -- capped the district-wide project. Students
came home to a school with high-tech equipment, new desks and chairs,
new classrooms with walls (replacing the 1970s-style open classroom
model) and new windows that open.