The Capital Project is progressing through the design phase and moving toward submission for review and approval from the New York State Education Department (NYSED).
This newsletter provides an update on Phase I of the project, which includes the athletic facility as well as all "under roof" and site work on the Jr./Sr. High campus. It also highlights Phase II as it relates to the most recent designs for the construction of a new primary wing at M.C. Smith Intermediate School.
Remember you can submit your questions/comments about any aspect of the Capital Project using this form.
New track & athletic field
The NYSED application for the new track and athletic field complex included the add-ons discussed in previous newsletters (i.e., an 8-lane track, steeplechase area, additional jumping pits, press box and scoreboard). The add-ons were included in anticipation of supplemental funding from open grant applications. These items are subject to removal if funding is not secured.
Mechanical & energy conservation/management
The appropriate building detail design paperwork/application will be ready to file with NYSED in November 2016. Pending approval, a new chiller unit is set to be installed at the high school in the fall of 2017 or spring of 2018.
Hudson Junior/Senior High School
District administrators will soon be meeting with Jr./Sr. High School staff in order to discuss the gym renovation, traffic flow updates and the athletic facility. After meeting with this initial group, these discussion topics will be opened up to the community.
Renovations for Grade 2 wing
Renovations to the existing M.C. Smith Intermediate School (MCSIS) for the new 2nd grade wing were initially planned to begin in September. Due to other prioritized work throughout the district, this work has been pushed back until later this fall. The impact of this delay on overall project completion will be minimal and Grade 2 will be ready to start school at the Intermediate School in September 2017.
Phase II of the project includes reducing the district’s campuses from three to two by closing the John L. Edwards Primary School (JLE) and constructing a new primary wing at M.C. Smith Intermediate School (MCSIS).
New construction at MCSIS
Closing JLE and moving the pre-K through 2nd grade students currently at JLE is the bulk of the Capital Project that was approved by voters in February 2016. As mentioned above, the 2nd grade classrooms will be located in a renovated wing of the existing MCSIS building. The pre-K, kindergarten, and 1st grade classrooms (PK-1), as well as a new gym, will be located in a new, adjoining wing located on the south side of the building.
Over the last several months, district administrators and the Board of Education have worked tirelessly with the architects to ensure the best possible building design that compliments the existing building and our academic programs while fitting within our financial means. One of our goals was to design an addition with a nearly seamless look next to the historic exterior of MCSIS. However, soil samplings on the south side of the MCSIS building revealed evidence of unstable soil.
Report findings confirmed that “fill” costs (to compensate for the unstable soil) would be higher for a one-story addition, but construction costs for a two-story addition (that would ultimately mirror the look of the original building on a smaller scale) would be substantially higher compared to a one-story design. These results challenged the district and architects to formulate a more creative solution that would fit the district’s needs, both academically and financially.
After much deliberation, we were able to develop a design that offers a good compromise between structural and architectural integrity while providing a favorable academic program flow between the existing and new instructional spaces. At an open meeting on Thursday, October 6, 2016, the Board expressed agreement to move forward with the most recent design for the new primary wing.
Maintaining historic appearance and maximizing possibilities
The initial design for the new PK-1 wing placed the classrooms at the front of the construction area on the south side of MCSIS. This design, with the gym in the back, presented an expanded one-story look that was not in harmony with the massing of the three-story MCSIS building:
The current design moves the new gym to the front of the building, providing not only the illusion of a two-story structure but a cost savings as well:
The above rendering shows the design that is currently most favored, however the Board remains undecided about the rooftop of the new gym and is continuing to discuss the options. Choosing a flat roof versus a gabled roof would save the district an estimated $200,000. The Board is also considering a design that would feature chimneys on the north and south sides of the gym with a connecting fence similar to that on the roof of the original MCSIS building.
Additionally, the architects were able to develop a design for the new PK-1 wing that includes a second story over the existing technology wing (pictured below). The second floor will accommodate Grade 1 and more closely matches the size of the original school building. Adding a partial second floor (only over the tech wing) also eliminates the need for a retaining wall on the south side of the building, reduces the extent of subsoil remediation necessary to construct the addition, and increases available green space and areas for new playscapes.
A cluster of three Kindergarten classrooms will be located on the first floor, in the newly renovated technology wing, with four additional Kindergarten classrooms built and connected to the south of the wing (pictured below). The foundation under the new Kindergarten classrooms will be constructed in a fashion similar to the existing technology wing, maintaining the option of building a second story in the event enrollment increases in the future and more space is needed.
This partial second story design has a cost that is virtually equal to the initial single story design, and it includes several benefits that could not be achieved with a one-story addition. For example, a second floor over the existing technology wing will place our youngest students in closer proximity to shared spaces, gaining more in terms of academic programming and enhancing student flow through the entire building.
Once we have settled on rooftop design and determined with confidence that we can build it within our budget allowance, the Board will be ready to approve the new primary wing design for NYSED submission.
The new design may result in a delay of project completion, but the district and Board of Education are confident in the configuration and feel strongly that getting it right during the design phase is essential to producing the right educational environment for our students for years to come.
(View larger images of the architect's renderings here.)
(See a larger infographic on the Capital Project webpage.)
The tentative scheduling for the overall project is as follows:
- Fall 2016
- The architects and engineers are expected to complete the drawings and specifications for new construction at MCSIS by November 2016 and submit to the State for review and approval. Due to the complexity of this part of the project, the State’s current review time is approximately eight months.
- Renovations for the Grade 2 wing at MCSIS are set to begin later this fall
- Spring 2017
- NYSED review of the track and field application is expected to take a few months and could be ready for bidding in February 2017
- Track/field construction is estimated to begin in the spring of 2017, pending NYSED approval and contractor bidding
- Summer 2017
- Pending NYSED approval, construction for the new primary wing at MCSIS is anticipated to begin and continue through the summer of 2018
- Fall 2017
- The new track/field complex on the High School campus is expected to be complete
- Grade 2 should be ready to move into their newly renovated wing at MCSIS
- Pending NYSED approval, a new chiller unit at the Jr./Sr. High School is set to be installed in the fall of 2017 or spring of 2018. Due to the time it takes for applications to be reviewed and processed, the current chiller unit will likely remain in place for one more summer. The replacement will be done and the noise will be gone by the summer of 2018.
- Spring/Summer 2018
- The entire project should be approaching completion by this time and finished prior to the start of the 2018-19 school year (if construction delays are encountered, the opening of the new school would be pushed to the 2019-20 school year).
Please note that this timeline of project construction and completion is approximate and is subject to change.
Ways to get involved
The architects, engineer and construction management team are available to meet on Mondays at 11 a.m. Please note that the week of October 17 is an exception. The group will meet in the District Office conference room on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Rooftop designs for the new MCSIS gym will be a topic of discussion. Any interested party is welcome to attend by calling the District Office in advance at 518-828-4360, ext. 2101.
The Board of Education will meet on Monday, October 24, 2016 at 7 p.m. in the JLE cafeteria. Check our website for meeting agendas, though Capital Project updates are regularly on the agenda! Get the 2016-2017 meeting schedule here.
Interested parties are also welcome to attend the Board’s Facilities Committee meetings, which occur in the District Conference Room on a fairly regular basis. Please check the Hudson CSD homepage periodically for information about dates and times of these meetings. It is a good idea to call the District Office at 518-828-4360, ext. 2101 in advance to confirm.
As always, you can comment on the Capital Project any time by using this form to submit questions or suggestions about what you read in the Capital Project Update eNewsletter, or about the project in general.
Get more information about the project on the Capital Project webpage
Ask a question / send a message
Hudson City School District Board of Education
Dr. Maria Lagana Suttmeier, Superintendent
Meghan Tice, District Communications