Gateway Plaza to improve entrance to the city

Schenectady awarded $50K for Liberty Park redesign, lower State Street

Schenectady officials are looking to give one gateway into the city a facelift.

The City of Schenectady was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Capital District Transportation Committee to revamp a portion of lower State Street to create Gateway Plaza to boost redevelopment efforts.

City officials are working with county officials, Schenectady County Community College and Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority on the project to landscape and expand the park, prepare for student housing, new Bus Plus transit station and demolish a vacant garage. Metroplex will also match the grant with $20,000 toward the project.

This grant allows us to take the next step in the revitalization of our downtown. This is an important link in the progress we've made redeveloping our major corridors, and that progress will continue, said Susan Savage, D-Niskayuna, chairwoman of the Schenectady County Legislature, in a statement.

Ray Gillen, chairman of Metroplex, said it is just another piece of the ongoing improvements to downtown Schenectady, and lower State Street is the next focus for redevelopment in the city.

"It cleans up the area, and it helps SCCC attract more students, and it helps the whole effort to redevelop that part of the community," said Gillen. "It is really a major gateway to the county, and it will help clear up a blighted area."

Community members can rest assured the replica monument of the Statue of Liberty will remain in the park, and the new design will incorporate the landmark. The city is calling for bids on the design of the park and will hire an outside contractor to make proposals. Public comment sessions on design proposals for the park will be held by the city, said Gillen. By the end of the year, a design is expected to be approved.

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