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Schenectady Christian School makes progress on gym project

The students of Schenectady Christian School in Scotia will finally have their own gym to host athletic events, something they have long wanted. Last March, the Scotia Board of Trustees approved the $3.1 million project that will accommodate the school's 285 students.

Chairman of the Schenectady Christian School Building Committee, Mike Pigliavento, said having an in-house gym would bring great benefits to the students and their athletic programs.

It will be such an advantage for our students to be able to stay within their own school and host their own games. We are so excited to see this project begin, said Pigliavento.

Initially, parking was a concern for the village, but according to the school's headmaster, John Bishop, the school plans to present the zoning board of appeals with two variances. One will request that close to 37 percent of the lot be occupied by a building when the current maximum is at 30 percent. The second variance is to allow the driveway to be only 35 feet from the nearest intersection instead of the required 40 feet.

The school has raised more than $800,000 to offset the cost of the gym, which is expected to begin construction in March. The gym is just part of the school's 10-year plan called "Advancing the Vision." The plan is a capital campaign developed by Bishop and Pigliavento. The 10-year plan that begins with the construction of the gym will eventually lead to a wing connecting the gym to the existing building.

To help alleviate parking problems, a large parking lot is included in the "vision plan," as well as new playground equipment and updated landscaping. Other projects to follow as funding permits include transforming the old gym into a modern library and media center, expanding the current auditorium, adding a band room and renovating the current building's classrooms, restrooms, offices, kitchen and hallways.

"Our first step is getting the gym completed. We are so excited about having a place to call home for our varsity teams who right now have to hold varsity level games in our gym," said Bishop.

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