QUEENSBURY — The vision of Queensbury High School has finally come into focus.
The community gathered last week to celebrate the completion of the district’s $40 million Legacy 2020 Capital Project.
The bulk of the work occurred at the high school and includes a reconfiguration of the building into three distinct areas for the arts, humanities and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). A new 16,000-square-foot addition has been constructed at the rear of the building to replace the Wood gymnasium, which is where the media center is now. At the front of the building is a community room and space for student support services.
The project included installing energy-efficient windows and renovating classrooms with new furniture that can easily be moved around for different configurations and new technology.
Queensbury Superintendent of Schools Douglas Huntley thanked everyone who provided input into the design, including at a summit featuring students, parents, residents, educators and business officials.
“The charge of all of the groups of people was to discover Queensbury’s future high school in a world that is changing by the minute,” he said at a dedication ceremony on Thursday.
Board of Education President Jill Borgos said it is an exciting day for Queensbury.
“It is the result of careful and purposefully planning over a couple of years with a strong commitment to school and community,” she said.
Borgos said two of the key components of this project was to create space that is flexible and adaptable, which are skills students will need when they leave high school.
Gregory Klokiw said he believes this project has become a showpiece and inspiration for other districts.
“This project impacted the entire building. It touched pretty much the whole floor plan,” he said.
Huntley drew attention to the artwork that adorns the walls in the building, which was all created by students.
“They wanted their thumbprint on this project. They wanted their presence to be felt. They wanted their presence to be seen,” he said.
The Queensbury Board of Education handed out two special proclamations — one to Rob Chapman, the director of facilities who helped oversee this project. The other one went to the high school custodial staff, which Huntley said expertly handled the upheaval required by this project, with classrooms having to be packed, moved and unpacked in short order.
Huntley also took a moment to recognize the late Ray Gordon, who served as school board president from 2010 to 2016, as planning for this project was under way.
Assemblyman Dan Stec, R-Queensbury, who is the parent of a current high school student, said he is excited to see the changes to the school.
“We congratulate you all on this wonderful achievement, this new building which is going to be an asset and resource and facility of great learning in preparing kids for whatever comes next — whether it’s college or the military or a trade or the workforce,” he said.
Tours of the building followed the event to allow people to see the different components of the project including the meeting room space, nooks in the hallways for students to sit, the refurbished cafeteria, the new gymnasium and STEM labs.