An Aggressive School District Rebuilding Plan

The largest school building program ever proposed in New York State outside of Buffalo and New York City wins in Albany, the state capital, after nearly four years of ups and downs.
December 15, 2001, 6am PST | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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Four years ago, the City School District of Albany began to evaluate all of its schools buildings. Those findings led to a sweeping plan that would renovate all but one building, including raising and rebuild a few, and construction a new middle school. The plan had stalled after strong opposition to locate a thrid middle school inside a residential neighborhood adjacent to an Interstate and in a wetland led the distirct to look for another site. Mayor Jennings offered the school district some land to build the school at a city park and the plan started to gain steam again. However, there was a strong opposition group developing that opposed to using less than 3 acres at a 20+ acre park to site the middle school building. A coalition of nearly 40 community groups, including neighborhood assocations, the NAACP, and historic preservtionsists, worked to support the plan and to pass the $175 million plan. The community, by a 2 to 1 margin, passed the plan, hailed by supporters as the most important piece of economic development in a city where the old schools are overcrowding were seen as pushing young families towards the suburbs.

Thanks to Sean M. Maguire

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Published on Wednesday, December 12, 2001 in Times Union
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