June 27, 2023: Phase 1 set to begin this summer
January 23, 2023: Plans moving forward on capital project work
May 17, 2022: Voters Approve Capital Project Referendum
Click here to watch the Capital Project video.
Phase 1 of capital project work is set to begin this summer according to architects on the project. At a recent Board of Education meeting, architects from CS Arch, accompanied by representatives of Turner Construction, provided updates on the $19,985,700 capital project that was approved by voters in May 2022.
Greg Klokiw, managing principal from CS Arch, said that plans for Phase 1 were approved by the NYS Education Department (NYSED). With these in place, the roof replacement on Abram Lansing is expected to begin after school ends, with completion anticipated by the time school starts in September.
Installation of playground equipment at Harmony Hill School and Van Schaick Grade School is expected to begin in August. Student representatives were able to provide input on the final playground choice. Architects anticipate that elementary students will be able to enjoy the new equipment by the time the new school year begins.
Klokiw said elevator work at Harmony Hill and Van Schaick has been moved to the summer of 2024 due to long lead time on materials and the duration of time the contractor would need to install them.
Phase 2 of the project has been submitted to NYSED and will go out to bid this fall. Klokiw said the first estimate based on the schematic design came in higher than anticipated, and representatives of Turner Construction are looking at the scope of the project as they prepare a second estimate. The ultimate goal is to develop a plan that is within budget for Phase 2.
Officials will also be consulting vendors this summer to determine the best options for the synthetic turf, scoreboard and field lighting. Klokiw told the board that construction on projects will be planned to limit interruption during the school day.
Phase 2 construction will begin in spring 2024 and run through summer 2025. Those projects include: renovation to science classrooms in the middle and high schools; construction of a synthetic turf field at the high school, a new eight-lane track and field lighting, among other projects.
Plans are moving forward for the much-anticipated $19,985,700 capital project that was approved by voters in May 2022.
Greg Klokiw, managing principal of architectural firm CSArch, presented an update to the Board of Education at its Jan. 18 business meeting. Mr. Klokiw noted that design for all aspects of the capital project began last June. Plans for Phase 1 of the project – which includes a new roof at Abram Lansing as well as elevator refurbishments and new playgrounds at Harmony Hill and Van Schaick – have been submitted to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) for approval and the issuance of a building permit. Once approval is granted, construction is expected to begin this summer.
Mr. Klokiw said playground configuration ideas for both Harmony Hill School and Van Schaick Grade School have been developed by designers and reviewed by administrators. As those plans are refined, he said they will get feedback from those who will be most impacted – the students themselves.
“We want to give students a voice in the final project,” Mr. Klokiw said.
Plans for Phase 2 of the project will be submitted to SED in the spring with work expected to begin following approval. Phase 2 work includes renovation to the science classrooms in the middle and high schools; construction of a synthetic turf field at the high school, a new eight-lane track and field lighting; renovation to the cafeterias at Abram Lansing and the middle school; and conversion of unused locker rooms into instructional space at Harmony Hill, among other projects.
Similar to asking for feedback from the elementary students who use the playgrounds, designers also plan to seek student feedback regarding the science classrooms in both schools.
Mr. Klokiw said efforts will be made to time projects to cause the fewest disruptions possible.
How projects were chosen
The project scope was identified through a building conditions survey, in conjunction with community and stakeholder feedback, which the district undergoes every five years. The list of proposed needs was finalized with input from building and district-wide facilities committees, with a focus on health and safety, such as a nurse suite reconfiguration at Abram Lansing Elementary, new fire alarm systems, window replacements and elevator refurbishments.
The scope of the capital project is part of a long-range plan to improve facilities. To finance the proposed project, Cohoes will borrow $17,985,700 through a bond issuance, and fund $2 million from the district’s capital reserve fund, which are funds set aside by a district specifically for capital improvements. The district expects that state building aid will cover approximately 91.3% of the total project’s approved costs. The remaining balance of the project (local share) will be tax-neutral, meaning it will have no additional tax impact due to the retirement of district debt.
Capital Outlay Project
Work to be funded by a $100,000 capital outlay project approved by voters last May will begin this spring at Abram Lansing Elementary School.
Mr. Klokiw said the project would go out to bid in March, and construction is set to begin in May. Planned work includes the replacement of corridor locksets and improvements to the exterior stairs with a complete American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant rail replacement at Abram Lansing.
On Tuesday, May 17, 2022 Cohoes voters approved a $19,985,700 capital project referendum that will improve existing buildings and classroom spaces to enhance students’ educational experience.
The project will address key health and safety measures, as well as improvements to the district’s athletic fields and will have no additional tax impact on residents.
How will the capital project be funded?
New York schools generally fund capital projects with a combination of state aid and local funds, including capital reserves (which are funds set aside by a district specifically for capital improvements).
To finance the proposed project, Cohoes will borrow $17,985,700 through a bond issuance, and fund $2 million from the district’s capital reserve fund. The district expects that state building aid will cover approximately 91.3% of the total project’s approved costs. The remaining balance of the project (local share) will be tax-neutral, meaning it will have no additional tax impact due to the retirement of district debt.
What is the scope of the capital project?
New York state requires school districts to undergo a thorough examination of their facilities and complete a building conditions survey every five years. The majority of the proposed work was identified over the past year through a building condition survey process and with input from building-wide and district-wide committees.
“The capital project will provide needed improvements and enhancements to existing building and classroom spaces as well as upgrades to outdoor athletic facilities,” said Superintendent Peggy O’Shea. “The project is also timed so borrowing aligns with expiring debt, meaning that property taxes will not increase as a result of the proposed work.”
The projects to be completed in each building are as follows:
Abram Lansing Elementary
- Repair damaged exterior walls and paint building
- Partial roof replacement
- Refurbish elevator
- Replace fire alarm system
- Expand cafeteria seating
- Replace window screens
- Nurse suite reconfiguration/expansion
- Provide portable dividers for support spaces – Academic Intervention Specialists/Special Education/Social Worker/Psychologist
- Replace select casework with sink base cabinet
Harmony Hill School
- Pavement reconstruction
- Replace playground equipment and surfacing
- Partial window replacement
- Refurbish elevator
- Replace fire alarm system
- Convert locker rooms to storage and Academic Intervention Specialist (AIS) space
Van Schaick Grade School
- Replace playground equipment, surfacing and court resurfacing
- Refurbish front door system and fix leak
- Replace roof ladder
- Replace roof flashings
- Interior masonry wall reconstruction
- Refurbish front elevator
- Replace emergency lighting and exit signs
- Replace fire alarm system
- Reconstruct ADA curb cut and ramp to play structures
Cohoes Middle School
- Improve 7th & 8th grade science classrooms
- Improve select bathrooms
- Expand/reconfigure cafeteria to add needed space
- Convert former Business Office into general classrooms
- Masonry reconstruction and repointing
- Fire escape repair and paint
- Partial window repair and screen replacement
- Select roofing and flashing replacement in the gym and lobby
- Refurbish select plaster walls
- Plaster ceiling repair/replacement
- Refurbish elevator
- Provide gym bleachers
- Replace hot water heater
Cohoes High School
- Renovate science labs/former Home & Careers classroom
- Athletic improvements include the construction of a synthetic turf varsity field, with a new eight-lane track and field lighting. JV field improvements will include drainage, back stops and fencing.
- Select pavement reconstruction.
- Masonry reconstruction, repointing of window heads and chimney.
- Select roofing and flashing replacement; replace wet and deteriorated areas and recoat for 15-year warranty.
- Refurbish main elevator
- Relocate electric panels from student occupied rooms
- Improve ADA curb cubs and access to soccer field bleachers
- Provide concrete pads at unit ventilators
Design for all aspects of the project will begin in June. Those plans will then be submitted to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) for approval and the issuance of the building permit.
Upon approval and successful bidding, construction is expected to begin in summer of 2023 and continue through fall of 2024.
The scope of the capital project is part of a long-range plan to improve facilities. Additional projects proposed through alternative funding sources include: replacing lighting in the High School auditorium, replacing corridor lock sets/re-key throughout all five buildings, as well as replacing all public address (PA) systems.