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Nisky school construction nearly done

Officials plan re-dedication to show the public some updates

With the final phase of a district wide construction project coming to a close, students, parents and residents are invited to a re-dedication ceremony of Niskayuna High School tonight, Monday, Nov 8, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. There will be tours of new and refurbished spaces at the school from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and the official ribbon cutting will follow. Later, there will be student demonstrations and musical presentations for attendees.

What we really are doing is bringing our facilities up to date with all of our neighboring schools, said Kevin Baughman, superintendent of Niskayuna Central School District.

The $99.2 million improvement to all eight schools in the district started three years ago. More than half of the total investment was used for improvements at the high school, said Tracy King, spokesman for the district.

"I've been here a long time we were in a situation were our building actually limited us in terms of creativity and being able to respond to the changes going on in education around us," said Mark Trainer, assistant principal of the high school. "We no longer have that limitation."

The project was first looked at about five years ago, said Baughman, because there were undersized classrooms, lack of technology, leaking roofs, and the facilities were generally in poor condition. Doing a large project, as opposed to small additions or improvements over time, made more sense, he said, because it allowed the district to attain state aid for improvements.

"It was a building that was 60 years old and didn't have much in the way of upgrades to it," said Baughman, referring to the high school. "It was kind of like starting with a small building and adding little plots to it."

He said the additions didn't always make sense with the flow of students or where they were placed, but the completed project helped organize different areas and enhance departments. Now the library is the "heart of the building," said Baughman.

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