COLONIE: Siena acquires former barracks

Siena College announced last week that it has purchased the State Police Troop G Headquarters opposite the Route 9 campus for $1.9 million.

After nearly 50 years at the site, state police have selected a site and begun the preliminary design of a new barracks to be located at the former Vogt Farm, a half-mile west of Exit 6 on Interstate 87.

Siena took an interest in the Route 9 property when police began the hunt for a new location in 2004. The school's plan is to relocate several operations over to the former barracks in order to free up space at the existing 164-acre campus.

As far as Siena's plans, we don't intend to use it for student housing or classrooms or anything that would involve a day-to-day stream of services, said Janet Gianopoulos, college spokeswoman.

Because Route 9 splits the two properties, the college is not looking to locate students on the acquired space so as to avoid increasing foot traffic across the busy road, she said.

Initial discussions have touched on relocating campus security and maintenance to the roughly 29,000-square-foot building and 12.7-acre site because of the garage space and utilities, including a radio tower. There are also talks about relocating campus Internet services and possibly a campuswide switchboard.

Siena officials said they hope that police will be out of the building within two years.

After legislation passed in May 2003 approved the sale of the property to Siena College, administrators moved on the acquisition.

In 2005, Siena administrators laid out a plan for the building as one of 17 potential areas of improvement as part of a capital projects campaign to exceed $50 million.

The new Troop G headquarters to be built in Latham will be the first state police headquarters to be built in 27 years. According to police, they had outgrown the barracks and needed a more modern facility to meet present and future needs. They were urged by local leaders to remain in Colonie as a search for a new property kicked off.

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