ARCHITECTURE WORK, College + University, Featured Home, Tina Mesiti-Céas
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University at Albany College of Engineering and Applied Sciences Albany, NY

Higher Education Historic Renovation

Acting on a vision for a catalyzed economy and a united community, the University at Albany eyed an aggressive, game-changing project in downtown Albany, New York. With CSArch as a partner, the university is transforming a vacant high school building into a state-of-the-art College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The century-old, three-story, 127,000-square-foot space will receive full programming, design, and construction administration services to strengthen the region’s only public research university and align its mission with the immediate community that supports it.

With a $60 million budget, the project will expand the size of UAlbany’s downtown campus by about 40 percent, allowing for additional classroom, office, and research space. Intended primary uses of the building include teaching laboratories, research laboratories, faculty and administrative offices, public outreach programs, and shared resources. Notably, the building includes a 1,228 seat auditorium, which requires renovation, restoration, and upgrades for flexible use for instruction, lectures, and performances.

“This will be a fully-featured college of engineering and applied sciences in which we inspire and educate a new generation of innovators as they prepare for exciting careers in the computing, information, and engineering sciences.” – University at Albany

Each design decision is being made in collaboration with UAlbany and its valued partners to align with the school’s comprehensive vision to:

  • Expand UAlbany’s capacity to help solve society’s critical challenges such as clean water, renewable energy, medicine, cyber-security, climate change and more;
  • Provide students with broad and diverse offerings so they are best prepared to thrive in the ever-changing 21st Century economy;
  • Increase opportunities for cutting-edge research and other investments at the University and in the region;
  • Help local businesses through increased campus activity;
  • Expand and support the arts;
  • Create new partnerships and programs with local K-12 schools, Albany Medical Center, Hudson Valley Community College, Albany Law School, Albany College of Pharmacy and others;
  • Create a “maker space” where local entrepreneurs can meet and develop ideas for new products; and
  • Improve Albany’s North Lake Ave-Ontario Street corridor with new mass transit and other improvements pending a comprehensive corridor study by the City and UAlbany.

CSArch is also leading the building space programming, including the research and decision-making process that identifies how UAlbany’s new technical training needs and student learning experience will be incorporated into the historic building.

Full scope includes renovating the building for modern collegiate academic use through hazardous material and asbestos abatement, selective demolition, exterior rehabilitation, new interior finishes, and new and modified mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, and elevator systems.

The CSArch project team includes Plan A and Lacey Thaler Reilly Wilson Architecture + Preservation.

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