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Schenectady charter school narrowing in on downtown location

SCHENECTADY — Five months after Destine Preparatory Charter School gained state approval to operate within the city, the school is close to securing a location in the heart of downtown.

Re’Shawn Rogers, executive director of Destine Prep, said he’s hoping to sign a lease in the coming weeks for the entire third floor of 530 Franklin St., an office building about a block from City Hall that currently houses offices belonging to Northern Rivers and the Social Security Administration.

“We’re really close to executing a lease on that space,” he said Wednesday. “There’s just a lot of channels you have to go through before you can sign a lease. … But we’re pretty set on that space.”

Rogers said the approximately 13,000-square-foot space is currently gutted, which will make it easier to design the space once a lease is finalized. The school’s administrators have been in contact with the building’s landlord and an architectural firm regarding design plans ahead of the school’s August opening.

There’s still plenty left to be done, but Rogers touted the building’s proximity to the Karen B. Johnson Library, City Hall and miSci, which he said are institutions that will help enrich students’ academic experience.

Plans originally called for opening the school in either the Hamilton Hill, Mont Pleasant or Eastern Avenue and Vale neighborhoods, but a lack of suitable options were available, Rogers said.

“There’s so much happening downtown right now,” he said. “I think parents want that opportunity for their children to be down here.”

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