As Bridgehampton School students including the kindergarten and prekindergarten classes of 2030 and 2031 watched on Friday, the school administration, board of education, current and retired faculty, alumni and local elected officials and prominent community members gathered behind the school building for a ceremonial groundbreaking of the school’s $24.7-million expansion and renovation project.
Superintendent Robert Hauser said the cornerstone of the original building says 1930 and, aside from a handful of repairs and portable buildings added over the years, the campus remains largely the same.
That will all start to change soon, as approval on the school district’s construction plans is expected any day now from the New York State Education Department.
“In approximately three weeks, we will begin,” Mr. Hauser said. “We are truly celebrating the new addition. Get ready for this number — 35,440 new square feet are going to be added to the existing building. The existing building, to give you an idea, is about 30,000 square feet.”
Students cheered and clapped each time Mr. Hauser announced a feature of the new building: a music room, fitness room, cafeteria, library, regulation size gymnasium, better locker rooms, a family and consumer science classroom and more. The portable classrooms will be removed, and a geothermal heating and air conditioning system, “something that no other school on the East End of Long Island will have,” will be built, Mr. Hauser said.
The fourth and fifth grade chorus sang a song called “Over There Is Our Future,” and Dr. Lois Morrow Horgan, the school’s former superintendent, received a standing ovation when she approached the podium. She recalled walking across the campus nine years ago to the meeting at which the board hired her.
“I remember coming across the grass here to the board meeting … and I thought to myself, ‘This school is surrounded by mansions. These students and staff deserve a mansion, or at the very least, a beautiful place to spend their days,’” Dr. Morrow Horgan said.