Niskayuna High School right now has wires strung about, ceiling panels missing, construction equipment and supplies lying about and just a general sense of disarray, although, the project is on target for the end of October completion date.
District voters approved a $94.5 million capital bond to renovate the building to accommodate students and provide modern technology capabilities to enhance the learning experience. A tour was given to board members and the media to view renovation progress on Tuesday, Aug. 17.
Many of the renovations won't be seen by most, said Superintendent Kevin Baughman, because a large improvement dealt with installing a new geothermal heating and cooling system. The system will utilize heat from the ground in winter months, while cool air will be taken from the ground in hotter months.
Classrooms are receiving their own individual improvements to better suit their usage. Some improvements include new flooring, storage capabilities, lighting, windows and technology upgrades.
The three resource rooms in the school also have gotten an upgrade to maximize space for teachers and students, said Baughman.
A history classroom presented a unique challenge, because student artwork was on the walls.
We had an interesting challenge in this room, because student artwork was in here and we wanted to preserve it, said Mark Treanor, assistant principal and coordinator of construction activities. "We were able to preserve the student artwork and still paint the room and redo it over this is a much more pleasant space than has been up here."
The history room, along with other rooms, are getting advanced technology such as a Promethean board allowing the teacher or student to interact with the computer directly on the board.
"One of the things that we have had to work through this, with the change of technology, some of our teachers really love the new technology and some of our teachers prefer a chalk board and a piece of chalk," said Treanor.