Years ago we embarked on an ambitious, multi-year plan to expand, improve and modernize our eight school campuses. With substantial community input, the district adopted a long-range facilities improvement plan that sought to minimize the financial impact by spreading the work over several distinct referendum votes.
The 2021 Referendum
Niskayuna voters approved the first of three capital project votes in 2021. Since then, we’ve constructed a new stadium and athletic complex at our high school and replaced aging infrastructure (roofing systems, heating systems) across the district. At Iroquois Middle School, a new 20-classroom addition and campus improvements are well underway as we take the first steps in completing our middle school facilities and program transformation.
Our plan focuses on improving middle school student experiences and academic opportunities. By fall 2028, our plan is for all students in grades 5-6 to attend Van Antwerp Middle School and for all students in grades 7-8 to attend Iroquois.
While we’ve made great progress already, further investment is needed in order to complete this work. Looking ahead, there are several important steps we must take to make the middle level reconfiguration a reality. First, we must seek voter approval for the second (of three planned) voter referendum. We also must identify a new, temporary home for our district administrative offices in order to increase capacity for students at VA.
The Upcoming 2024 Referendum
In February 2024, we intend to present a $40+ million capital improvement project to voters. This project will help cover the costs of renovating Van Antwerp, relocating district offices as well as significant modernization and improvements at all five elementary school campuses. We’ve developed a financial plan for this work that will have minimal impact on our local tax base.
Last spring we solicited interest from local commercial property owners and realtors with available space in the district. We have identified an outstanding partner, Highbridge Development, and are in negotiations to develop commercial office space at 1430 Balltown Road for use as our district administrative offices. Pending local planning board review, we anticipate the space will be renovated and ready to be leased by summer of 2024, clearing the way for exciting improvements for students at Van Antwerp.
Gratitude for our Community
All of this work is driven by our community’s desire to ensure that current and future students at Niskayuna have access to world-class educational facilities. We are extremely grateful for the ongoing community support and are committed to providing outstanding stewardship of our schools for the next generation of learners at Niskayuna!