UAlbany looks to buy former elementary school

The University at Albany is looking to buy the former Philip Schuyler Elementary School building for

The University at Albany is looking to buy the former Philip Schuyler Elementary School building for roughly $2 million to get additional academic space.

The SUNY Board of Trustees last month approved acquiring the 2.7-acre property on North Lake Avenue between Washington and Western avenues.

The City School District of Albany in May received voter approval to sell the building for not less than $2 million. The facility served as Albany High School from 1913 until January 1974 and then as an elementary school and more recently it has been flexible space, according to the district’s website.

UAlbany spokesman Karl Luntta said the university needs space to house classrooms, libraries and research rooms as it prepares to refurbish much of the aging downtown facilities. The Schuyler school is ideally located adjacent to the downtown campus.

“It would give us some extra space to shuffle things around as we repair other parts of the campus,” he said.

Luntta said the building has a similar architectural style to other UAlbany facilities that would help tie in that particular section of the campus on Western Avenue.

He believed that university officials would wait until next semester to make decisions on the use of the building.

UAlbany wouldn’t be able to use the building any sooner than the 2013-2014 school year because it is currently home to the school district’s Alternative Learning Center for middle- and high-school students.

Albany school spokesman Ron Lesko said the Schuyler building would require millions of dollars in renovation if it were going to continue to be used as a school, which would be cost prohibitive.

The district is asking residents on Nov. 6 to vote to allow it to lease the former New Covenant Charter School at 50 Lark Drive at a cost of $2.5 million. It would house the Learning Center.

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