Skip to main content


University at Albany Cuts Ribbon on College of Nanotechnology, Science, and Engineering

Representing the University at Albany’s most significant investment in midtown since its downtown campus was completed in 1929, the renovation and historic rehabilitation of the former Albany High School demonstrates the University’s commitment to the vitalization and economic development of downtown Albany and the greater Capital Region. To unveil the new home for the College of Nanotechnology, Science, and Engineering (CNSE) and officially welcome students and faculty back to the building for the first time in over a decade, UAlbany held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, May 21.

“The future of education, engineering, and technology is going to happen right here,” said Havidán Rodríguez, President of the University at Albany. “We invested in preserving this historic building because we are invested in this city and in this region. The building is the physical manifestation of UAlbany’s commitment to Albany and our optimism for our region’s high-tech future.”

Video footage from the ribbon cutting ceremon on May 21

Originally constructed in 1912, the former Albany High School building was purchased by UAlbany in 2013. Three years later, CSArch was selected to lead the architectural and MEP engineering design for the adaptive reuse of the historic building into the campus’s new home for the now College of Nanotechnology, Science, and Engineering.

The ribbon cutting marks the completion of the south wing renovation and the halfway point for the project. Encompassing approximately half of the building’s total 129,000 square feet, renovated spaces include state-of-the-art research labs, classrooms, offices, and a 4,200 square foot maker/tinker space occupying the building’s former gymnasium that integrates 3D printing technology, metal fabricators, and an adjacent wood shop to support design through fabrication.

To improve student accessibility and connect CNSE with UAlbany's downtown campus, the entry plaza and two-story lobby were purposefully relocated to the southeast side of the building facing inward toward campus. Working closely with the State University Construction Fund and State Historic Preservation Office, CSArch preserved as much of the original architectural elements of the building as possible, including wndows, interior tile, and the exterior envelope. 

    The mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design, led by CSArch’s in-house engineers, brings the antiquated building systems into the 21st century. The CNSE building is served by a dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS) consisting of two parallel air handling systems and blower coils. The DOAS system is supported by the building’s central heating and cooling plants to maximize energy efficiency and indoor air quality.

      The final phase of the project will renovate the north wing of the building to create similar spaces for teaching and research. The restoration of the building’s stunning 11,000 square foot, three-level auditorium will provide seating for nearly 1,000 students and stand among the largest auditoriums on any UAlbany campus. Construction of the final phase is scheduled for completion in 2027.

      Visit our UAlbany CNSE project page to learn more. 

        Existing auditorium at CNSE, which will be restored in the final phase of the project