Daryl Mastracci, Featured Home, Prek-12, Tina Mesiti-Céas
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City School District of Albany Albany, NY

High School Redesign

The City School District of Albany faces a critical need to raise achievement for all students and significantly increase graduation rates. But, its high school is in an aging facility on a campus that does not incorporate critical academic programs such as career and technical education, or outdoor facilities for most varsity athletic teams.

As part of a four-phase project, Albany CSD engaged CSArch for a large-scale renovation and expansion of the high school. Driving the project is a mission to improve the student experience, offer new opportunities for learning and engagement, and address the ever-evolving needs of 21st century education.

New Construction

An addition will expand the school by about 50 percent and address 21stcentury learning needs, safety, and projected enrollment growth as the district anticipates the population to grow to 3,000 or more students. Elements of the project housed in the new construction include:

  • A new, three-story academic wing specifically designed to meet future program goals
  • A new welcome and wellness center, which will be accessible to the community
  • A fine-arts wing

Renovations

The original building will also undergo a complete retrofit to transform the dated, existing three-story building with:

  • Career and technical education (CTE) space on the first floor, allowing these programs to move into a single building from a previously remote location
  • Small learning communities (SLCs) and flexible learning spaces
  • An indoor track above the existing bleachers in the main gym and the addition of a second auxiliary gym
  • A state-of-the-art renovation and renewal of the high school’s pool, which had been out of service since the 2015 collapse of a large section of an outside wall due to aging infrastructure
  • A complete renovation to the existing 650-seat auditorium
  • The enclosure of the school’s existing courtyard to create a common area topped with a glass-paneled atrium and improve safety by reducing the number of entrances to the building
  • More than $55 million reserved for updating and repairing outdated and broken building systems

In total, the project will expand Albany High from 378,000-square-feet to approximately 570,00-square feet.

Citation Award, 2017 Design Awards

American Institute of Architects Eastern New York

“The jury acknowledges the level of effort of a project of this magnitude including the difficulty and enormous program. The scale of the project is impressive and incorporating the existing building is a task within itself which the design team has done successfully.”