Capital project vote to be held Oct. 17

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 would be funded entirely 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 goal of the auditorium renovation is to improve the space as an instructional and performing arts hub for the entire district. The renovation plans would maintain the historic character of the 1932 auditorium while upgrading the performance space to meet the needs of today’s students.


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. 

The renovation plans for the auditorium have already received approval from the New York State Education Department.

Zero tax impact with the use of reserves

On Oct. 17, voters will be asked to approve the use of $4,600,500 in capital reserves to renovate the auditorium at the middle school. Because the district plans to use its capital reserves (a voter-approved savings account for building projects), there will be no borrowing, no debt service and no additional cost to taxpayers.

Proposed project scope

If approved by voters, improvements to the middle school auditorium would include:

  • new stage and house lighting;
  • new seating;
  • improved pit area;
  • new sound system;
  • air conditioning;
  • new control booth;
  • new acoustic wall panels and window treatments;
  • new stage rigging, curtains and floor;
  • new balcony railings;
  • improved stage access and configuration;
  • improved ADA access;
  • assisted listening devices; and
  • a new ticket booth area and hardening of the school entrance for security.

Projected timeline

If approved, construction on the auditorium would begin in mid-January, 2024 following the planned middle school musical. It is expected that construction would be complete by the end of 2024. Construction under the 2021 Capital Project has been ongoing.

Voting information

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 17 capital project 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.

Absentee Ballot Application and Instructions

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.

Contact information:

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.

collage of auditorium photos