SCHENECTADY — Big changes are ahead for a short but strategically placed stretch of South Church Street:
The roughly 675 feet from State Street to Fuller Street will be rebuilt this summer, with utility lines moved underground; new paving, curbs, lighting and sidewalks installed; decorative elements and landscaping added; and a complete overhaul performed on two parking lots along the street.
The Schenectady County Metroplex Development board on Wednesday approved contracts totaling $1.37 million for the work.
Planning meetings are set next week and the goal is to complete the work by late October.
The north end of the work zone is in an area where tens of millions of dollars have been invested in recent years, with major projects including conversion of the old YMCA to housing and construction of the Mill Artisan District.
The city decided last year to make South Church Street one-way southbound from State Street to Erie Boulevard, and the work approved Wednesday was planned as a way to improve the street’s appearance while adding parking.
The work includes the hole left at 2 Argyle St. left when Club Illusion was demolished in 2018. A parking lot there and an adjacent lot at 122 St. Church St. will be renovated completely as part of the project.
Metroplex and SUNY are splitting the $453,000 construction cost for the two lots, which total nearly a half acre and contain 42 spaces. The land is owned by the county; the lots will be used by SUNY Schenectady County students taking instruction at the Mill Artisan District and, when class is not in session, by the public.
The South Church Street rebuild, meanwhile, will run $924,000, split between Metroplex and the city of Schenectady.
Carver Construction of Duanesburg was the lowest of four bidders at a combined $1.37 million.
Also Wednesday, the Metroplex awarded a contract for $358,000 worth of repair work on the Broadway parking garage to Mid-State Industries of Schenectady, the lower among two bidders.
The garage was built in 1991 and expanded in 2001. The work to be done this year is centered on improving the appearance, safety and functionality for those who park there.
Push-button door openers will be installed to improve handicapped access; the metal fire-resistant doors and door frames on the stairwells will be replaced, as they are rusting and in a state of disrepair; the interior of the stairwells will be repainted; stair railings and the first-floor elevator landing will be repaired or placed; and a non-slip finish will be applied on the steps and elevator landing.