As we’ve noted before, this beauty of a high school, Albany’s first built for that purpose, was designed by architect Edward Ogden and opened in 1876. By 1909, however, it was deemed woefully inadequate to handle the number of students, and the Board of Education was looking for a new building.
On March 30, 1909, the Board of Education offered this resolution to the Common Council:
“Whereas, The Albany High School now has a registered attendance more than three hundred (300) in excess of the number which it was originally designed to accommodate, and
“Whereas, In its present overcrowded condition, it presents entirely inadequate facilities for the healthful study of the academic, commercial and industrial arts, lacking proper facilities in study hall and recitation rooms, cloak rooms and hall space, and has no adequate gymnasium or provision for lunch rooms, and, in its crowded condition, with its auditorium on the upper floor and by its intersecting and narrow halls, is a constant menace to the health and life of the pupils attending thereat, and
“Whereas, It is not centrally located so as to properly accommodate the pupils residing in the westerly section of the city desiring to avail themselves of High School instruction, and has no recreation grounds connected therewith; therefore be it
“Resolved, That, in the opinion of the Board of Education, the building in inadequate and unsuited to the present needs of the city, and the Board of Education therefore recommend to the Common Council that provision be immediately made for the purchase of a suitable site situated at some place in the city west of Lark street of sufficient size to provide adequate recreation grounds in connection therewith, and that provision be immediately made for the erection thereon of a new High School building suitable to the needs of the city.
“Resolved, That, in the opinion of the Board of Education, such High School, when constructed, should be fireproof in its character, should provide suitable accommodatinos for at least one thousand students, and the lot upon which the same should be erected should be of sufficient size to furnish adequate recreation grounds in connection therewith, and, in the judgment of this Board, provision should be made for the expenditure of at least $350,000 for the purchase of such lot and the erection and equipment of said building.”
By 1913, a new high school was in place on Lake Avenue. The cost was around a million dollars, considerably north of $350,000. It was considered crowded beyond its capacity by 1922, resulting in the need to create junior high schools.