Demolition planned for Aqueduct House

Niskayuna Rowing to raise funds for new boathouse

The vacant Aqueduct House in Niskayuna is lined up for demolition after needed repairs piled up to a costly amount, but the demolished building could become the future boathouse for Niskayuna Rowing.

The Niskayuna Town Board held a special meeting on Thursday, April 14, and approved hiring Edgeco Environmental Inc., of Cohoes, to remove asbestos from the Aqueduct House at a cost not to exceed $6,600. Approval of the demolition company is slated for the board's Tuesday, April 26, meeting at a cost estimated to be $18,000. Supervisor Landry said a recent change in state law requires any building over a certain age to undergo an asbestos abatement, which the facility fell into those requirements. Landry roughly estimated $120,000 would need to be spent to make all the repairs needed at the building.

It is defiantly in need of a ton of repairs, thousands, said Frank Gavin, superintendent of the town's highway department.

It isn't mandatory to remove asbestos from the building before demolition, but the costs associated with including asbestos in the rubble upon dumping raises costs significantly. Landry said it is cheaper to remove the asbestos beforehand.

"If you don't remove the asbestos the fee per ton is hundreds of dollars. If you can remove the asbestos and have it certified you can just dump the material in a demolition landfill that is $75 [per ton]," said Gavin.

Veteran board member Liz Orzel Kasper recalled pushing for the facility years ago when she was elected to the board.

"I'm certainly for this, but it is kind of hard," said Kasper. "My first year here is when I negotiated with the county to get the Aqueduct House it served its purpose, but it became a white elephant."

After demolishing the building, the property would be in the town's control, but Niskayuna Rowing is planning to hold fundraising drives to build a new boathouse. The club is separate from the school district's rowing program, but it is comprised of middle school and high school rowing teams and training yearlong. In the summer the group also holds Learn-To-Row classes for children and adults. The school funds a different season as opposed to the club's season with students, said Landry.

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