On Tuesday, October 17, residents of the Bethlehem Central School District will vote on a $4.6 million capital project that if approved, would allow the planned renovation of the middle school auditorium to move forward. The project will be funded with the district’s capital reserves at no additional impact to local taxpayers. The vote will be held at Bethlehem Central High School from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The middle school renovation had originally been included in the scope of the 2021 Capital Improvement Project but was removed in 2022 when bidding for the full 2021 project was approximately $5 million higher than anticipated. The cost differential was due to inflation, supply chain issues, local construction demands and a changing labor market.
On Oct. 17, voters will be asked to approve $4,600,500 to renovate the auditorium at the middle school. The goal of the auditorium renovation is to improve the space as an instructional and performing arts hub for the entire district. The renovation plans, which have already received approval from the New York State Education Department, would maintain the historic character of the 1932 auditorium while upgrading the performance space to meet the needs of today’s students.
Improvements would include new stage and house lighting, a new sound system, air conditioning, new state-of-the-art control booth, new stage rigging, curtains and floor, new railings, improved stage access and configuration, improved ADA access, assisted listening devices and upgraded technology throughout the auditorium.
The project would include a new ticket booth that would also allow for the hardening of the entrance vestibule for added safety at the middle school.
If approved, construction on the auditorium would begin in mid-January. Construction under the 2021 Capital Project has been ongoing.
The bond vote will be held at Bethlehem Central High School on Tuesday, October 17 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Gym A. To vote, you must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen and a resident of the Bethlehem Central School District for at least 30 days prior to the vote.
Absentee ballots are available for the October 17th Special Bond Vote.
Absentee ballots are available at the link below or from the district clerk, Brittany Barrett, and will be issued upon request to residents who will be out of town or unable to vote at the polls due to illness or disability.
You must complete an application to receive an absentee ballot. The application must be received by the district clerk at least 7 days before the election if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter, or the day before the election, if the ballot is to be delivered personally to the voter. Please mail or drop off your application to the below address.
Brittany Barrett, District Clerk, Bethlehem Central School District Educational Services Center, 700 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, NY, 12054, (518) 439-7098
If you request an absentee ballot be sent to you by mail, a completed absentee application must be received by the district clerk at least seven days before the vote – by Tuesday, October 10 at 5 p.m.
If you plan to pick up the absentee ballot in-person at our District Office building you have until the day before the vote to submit an absentee application – Monday, October 16 by 5 p.m.
Completed absentee ballots must be received by the district clerk by 5 p.m. on the day of the vote, October 17th.
Voters can watch for more information in a newsletter to be mailed to all households.