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Campus Construction Updates for Fall 2024

By Henry Fisher | April 29, 2024

With the Spring semester coming to a close, various construction projects are expected to be completed in time for Fall 2024. New projects have also been announced to renovate spaces around the University at Albany.

Colonial Quad on the University at Albany Uptown Campus. 

Photo Credit: Mattie Fitzpatrick / The ASP

One of the most prominent and extensive changes coming to UAlbany is the new College of Nanotech, Science, and Engineering (CNSE) building in downtown Albany. The building was formerly Albany High School from 1912 to 1974, after which it was used by the City School District of Albany as Philip Schuyler Elementary School.

According to an April 2024 press release, UAlbany purchased it in 2013 and announced plans in 2016 to turn it into “the headquarters of its then-new engineering college [CNSE]... as part of a larger vision to establish a major hub for STEM teaching and research in the heart of Albany.”

“Including the sub-ground floor, CNSE Downtown adds 129,000 sq. ft. to UAlbany’s

Downtown Campus, which first opened in 1909,” the press release said. “The total renovation cost is approximately $84.8 million across six main construction phases, the earliest of which focused on stabilization, hazardous materials remediation and demolition.”

One of the main goals of the project is to preserve the Neo-Classical architecture while also paving the way for the building to be the aforementioned hub of STEM academia. 

“The building is gorgeous, and the historic architectural elements that we and our contractors were able to preserve are incredible,” University Spokesperson Jordan Carleo-Evangelist said in an email. 

Render of the former Albany High School

Already around half the building has been opened as the new CNSE dean’s office moved in months ago in February. Once the updates to the South Wing have been completed, the building is expected to hold more than 1,000 students and faculty. Beyond the classrooms, there will also be renovations to the auditorium space in the building expected to be done mid-2027, creating a “modern event space with approximately 760 seats” according to the press release. This would make it one of the largest of such spaces at UAlbany.

The building will be connected to the rest of UAlbany through the new CDTA Purple Line. The main entrance has also been changed to the east side, facing the rest of UAlbany’s Downtown campus. 

There is a formal ribbon cutting ceremony currently scheduled for some time in late May, with students expected for Fall 2024. 

Carleo-Evangelist noted other changes that should be complete for Fall 2024: Colonial Quad’s Paine and Zenger Halls; the new fitness center at Colonial Quad; the new $3.6 million eSports Arena in the former Computing Center near the Lecture Centers (LC’s); and miscellaneous improvements to the Fountain in the form of new seating, signage, landscaping, lighting, and plumbing. 

Some projects will continue into the fall and will not be complete by the beginning of Fall 2024, such as the renovations to the LC’s. LC 18 and 19 are currently being upgraded, while 23, 24, and 25 are next in the queue. While the PE Gym has been renovated, planning is currently underway for the next two phases of renovation to the PE Building. 

New projects are expected to begin after the Spring 2024 semester. One of the largest is a $2.5 million upgrade to the Campus Center Ballroom, which Carleo-Evangelist said will include “new interior finishes, AV/IT tech, window treatments, lighting and furniture.” Construction will begin in Fall 2024 according to Carleo-Evangelist. Over the next summer, Livingston Tower is slated with refreshes in the form of new paint, floors, and lighting.

After the closure of Alumni Quad in January 2024, the question remained as to whether or not the quad would return for overflow housing for Fall 2024, as it has been used in years past. 

“We won’t know for sure whether we’ll need to use Alumni as overflow housing until after June 1, the deadline for incoming students to commit to attend…” Carleo-Evangelist said, “That said, we’re operating as though we expect to need Alumni again for the fall.”


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