The outside of the building still says “Central School, 1915,” but when students return this fall, they’ll find a building designed for the 21st century.
Greater Albany Public Schools is working with Baldwin General Contracting of Albany to make the 97-year-old building safer in case of an earthquake.
The upgrade is being funded through a $1.5 million grant from the state’s Office of Emergency Management. It was one of just three projects selected from 32 applications statewide. Work is to wrap up in late August.
Current and former students will still feel the character of their old school throughout the building, said Yohn Baldwin, president of Baldwin General Contracting. The doors, door cases, steam radiators, chalkboard trays and other historic touches will remain.
“We’re photographing them, moving them carefully, cataloging them, inventorying them and we’ll put them back in their original place.”
Pretty much everything else, however, is getting a complete makeover. Floor coverings are being replaced. Bathrooms are being renovated, brought up to code and made accessible for people with disabilities. About a fifth of the windows will be swapped out for tempered glass. Wiring will be moved inside walls. And everything will get a new coat of paint.