Four years ago during a regularly scheduled board meeting, the idea was born. Board members had decided to tour the current Menands Union Free School District’s campus to identify spaces that showed room for improvement.
This prompted a series of board retreats and subsequent conversations, Menands Superintendent Maureen Long told a crowd of local dignitaries, community members, district
employees, students and parents on Tuesday, Oct. 30.
“It all centered around the question: ‘What do we want for the future of our students and our school?’” she recalled during the Groundbreaking Ceremony.
What resulted was a vision created collaboratively by all stakeholders.
The Menands School will continue to build a top-performing learning community where students discover and reach their individual potential through robust and challenging programs that maximize the personal
connections that can be achieved in a small school environment.
Menands hosted the ceremony not only to mark the start of the capital project work — which will enhance educational opportunities for the district’s students — but also to recognize the culmination of tremendous planning, community input and support.
Through the project, the district will undergo a significant reorganization, which will define a central core of shared support services and will distinguish three new learning communities. The new configuration is intended to nurture strong relationships among faculty and students and fully leverage those connections throughout the 10-year student experience at Menands.
To accomplish this, three building additions totaling 9,290 square feet will be constructed to make each environment unique. At the front of the building, a small addition will make room for another K-2 classroom. At the rear of the building, a two-story classroom wing addition will house five additional middle school classrooms. The third addition will expand the school’s cafeteria.
Interior renovations totaling 22,000 square feet will accommodate key instructional components for 21st-century learning. Renovations will incorporate a Makerspace for hands-on education and creation, and extended learning areas will encourage collaborative student work. Small group meeting rooms will be located adjacent to these rooms for varied group sizes. Additional renovations will improve general purpose classrooms and specialized classrooms, such as science laboratories, art, and music classrooms.
The existing main entrance will be re-purposed for a dedicated district office with an adjacent community room to accommodate needs such as voting and group meetings. A new main school entrance for students and visitors will be constructed adjacent to the new main office, centralized in the building. Both entrances will be designed with secure vestibules to enhance student safety. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems will be upgraded and will include a new full-building sprinkler system. Facility improvements will also include site work and roofing work.