Thursday, October 2, 2014

Celebration Thursday for Completion of School 10 Apartments in Troy

School 10 Apartments, a South Troy landmark fondly remembered as a neighborhood school and recognized as a unique reuse of a historic building, has been rehabilitated for the second time in 23 years to ensure its longevity for future decades.

A new slate roof, heating system and better windows were part of the second rehabilitation.

Part of the South Troy landscape since 1898, School 10 became 20 affordable apartments in 1991.

The project’s current upgrade will be marked by a celebration at 3 p.m., Thursday, October 2 at the building.

The project actually began with emergency roof repairs in the spring of 2009. These were paid for in part with a member item from then- Assemblyman Ron Canestrari and a grant from the Howard and Bush Foundation.

Responding to critical repair and energy conservation needs, the New York State Housing Trust Fund Corp., within the umbrella of agencies under NYS Homes & Community Renewal, in June 2009 awarded the non-profit owner TAP Inc. $1.7 million to rehabilitate School 10. The project also was funded by Weatherization funds provided by the same agency and sponsored by the Commission on Economic Opportunity in Troy. The New York State Energy and Research Authority (NYSERDA) and private donors also helped finance the project.

Twenty-two new high-efficiency boilers and hot water tanks, and simple measures such as installing energy-saving light bulbs and fixtures, will help households save as much as $643 a year of off utility bills. New windows were slipped in without disturbing historic windows that are drafty and hard to open and close.

Money saved in the first phase of the rehabilitation went toward critical masonry cleaning and repairs, as well as creating more green space and parking spots. Private donors contributed to a formal flower garden created in memory of Leslie Jarushewsky Adler, a former TAP employee and director of design for Homes & Community Renewal. She was known for her careful attention to affordable housing design.

Behind the soaring arched windows, ornate masonry and stone lettering, still spelling “School 10,” over the entrances, are apartments and corridors that still convey the sense of an old school. Some apartments still have blackboards, for instance, and the hallways feature schoolhouse lighting fixtures and ceramic tiles. The attic still retains the vestige of the gymnasium, with its old basketball hoops.

Closed as a school in the 1970s, School 10 was first converted to apartments in 1991 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.

TAP Executive Director Joe Fama said the re-use of the school is a testament to the cooperative spirit of TAP, School 10 residents and the neighbors in South Troy and Washington Park.

“This is the culmination of 10 years of planning, pleading and pushing. This building has been home to 20 families for the last 23 years. Thanks to the Housing Trust Fund and our other project funders, we are able to preserve and enhance a piece of Troy’s history well into the 21st century. Our tenants will have more comfortable and attractive apartments, lower energy bills, and no increase in rent. We couldn’t be happier.”

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