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Lawmakers tentatively OK Schenectady City Hall window project

Lawmakers tentatively OK Schenectady City Hall window project

Lawmakers tentatively OK Schenectady City Hall window project
Schenectady City Hall is pictured.
Photographer: Gazette file photo

SCHENECTADY — City Hall is poised to receive a comprehensive window restoration project that will restore virtually all of its windows.

The City Council’s Government Operations Committee approved a bid for $969,000 by Bunkoff General Contractors on Monday for the project, which CEO Adam Bunkoff estimates will take five to six months to complete. 

“We’ll try to have it done before the winter,” Bunkoff said.

Approximately 100 windows will be removed, restored and re-installed at the building, which was originally built in 1933.

Financing has been allocated through the capital budget.

“This is a project everybody wants to see done,” said city Engineer Chris Wallin.

“Given the historic nature of the building, replacing the original windows with a more modern system was not an option,” Wallin wrote in a memo to lawmakers.

Air-conditioners will be placed back in their present locations and storm windows will also be installed without an aesthetic distraction from the National Register of Historic Places-listed structure. 

“The windows will look exactly like they did when they were originally put in,” Bunkoff said.

Lead will also need to be scraped from the existing windows.

Bunkoff didn’t offer an exact shelf life for the restored windows, but said they would last a “long, long time.”

The project was given as the reason the city removed several cherry trees along the Jay Street entrance last summer. 

With the help of a consultant, the city determined six trees were located too close to the building to perform the work effectively, prohibiting the installation of equipment and rigging.

The full City Council must still approve the bid at their meeting next week.

BLIGHT CZAR 

The Finance Committee also approved Mayor Gary McCarthy’s request to amend the budget to include a new “neighborhood stabilization coordinator” position on Monday.

The position would report to the city’s director of development and pay $60,000 annually.

The proposed position would serve as a point person to better address what McCarthy estimates are the 900 vacant properties located within city limits.

The proposed position would be wholly grant-funded, McCarthy told city councilors on Monday. If the grant doesn’t come through, he’ll drop the proposal. 

He envisions promoting someone from within to fill the position, although that person's position would need to be filled. 

He said the neighborhood stabilization coordinator position would end if grants to fund it dried up.

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