ALBANY, N.Y. — A big step Tuesday at Albany High School: breaking ground on the first big, visible part of a $180 million renovation.

There were a lot of smiles, especially from the swim team, as the school revealed renderings of its new indoor swimming pool complex.

The $4 million overhaul became urgent in March 2015, when cold weather and moisture caused the pool's exterior wall to collapse. The wall has been shored up, and along with it comes a renovation inside the pool facility, too.

Among the plans are large new windows allowing plenty of natural light into the pool space, plus proper ventilation to keep the pool sanitary. There will be plenty of paint and cosmetic improvements, too.

The pool is expected to open in April 2017, long before girls swimming season kicks off in the fall.

The pool renovation is part of the larger school renovation approved by voters this year. That had been was a controversial vote — voters originally turned down the project in 2015, then voted to approve in February. Ballot problems forced a review of the vote, though, and the Albany County comptroller threatened to sue.

No lawsuit was filed, and the entire project now goes forward. It is expected to be fully completed by 2024, including new classrooms, a revamped theatre space, and moving the school library into the upgraded entranceway and lobby space.