NISKAYUNA – School district officials don’t expect ongoing construction at Niskayuna High School to significantly impact traffic flow when school starts this week.
“The parking lot will be at full capacity with additional parking spaces and resurfacing of the primary parking lot completed by Sept. 7 when high school classes begin,” said Niskayuna Central School District spokesman Roberto LoBianco. “Pick-up and drop-off can proceed as normal at the beginning of the school year.”
When the district broke ground in April on a multimillion-dollar capital improvement project to upgrade athletic facilities and other buildings, the high school temporarily lost 70 parking spaces normally accessible to students. The district says the parking has been returned on schedule.
“Temporary reduction in parking available at the high school through the spring and summer was an anticipated inconvenience of this phase of the capital project and was scheduled so the impact during the school year would be minimized,” LoBianco told The Daily Gazette in April.
District voters approved on Feb. 9, 2021, two capital improvement projects totaling more than $79 million. The projects include renovations and classroom upgrades at both middle schools and a classroom addition at Iroquois. Work also features an overhaul of the outdoor athletic complex, including a new track, field upgrades, and improvements to accessibility, parking and traffic flow, according to the district.
The high school stadium, baseball and softball fields are currently under construction and are marked by fencing and other safety barriers, LoBianco said. This construction will impact fall sports.
“While work on the athletics facility continues, varsity and junior varsity football will practice at the baseball field. Drop-off and pickup for football practice will be through the Nott Street entrance of the high school,” LoBianco said. “Modified football will continue to practice at Van Antwerp. Our home varsity football games will be held at Schenectady High School and Union College, while junior varsity and modified football teams are only playing away games this season.”
In addition, the district says water access may be limited on the high school fields during construction.
“Athletes are encouraged to bring their own water bottles,” reads an Aug. 22 notice on the district’s website. “Water breaks will be built into the practices for each sport, and students will be able to use water fountains in the high school building.”
The larger $62.2 million referendum maintains current tax rates by replacing the district’s old debt, while the second $16.8 million referendum carries a tax increase estimated at $28 for a home valued at $100,000 over two years, The Gazette reported in April.
The projects, which were approved with 70% and 64% of the vote respectively, are expected to be completed in phases from 2024 to 2026, according to the district.
Andrew Waite can be reached at [email protected] and at 518-417-9338. Follow him on Twitter @UpstateWaite.