Bridgehampton School Forum to be Held on Additional Construction Costs

The Bridgehampton School. Michael Heller photo

Voters in the Bridgehampton School District will have the ability to cast ballots in multiple votes on Thursday, September 13 — among them the New York State Democratic gubernatorial primary, between incumbent candidate Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and challenger Cynthia Nixon — and in the Bridgehampton School’s bid to generate more funding for its major expansion and renovation project.

School district officials say they need an additional $4.74 million for the project, which fell short, they say, due to unanticipated delays in the length of time it took to get the project approved by the New York State Education Department. That in turn caused costs to escalate from initial estimates, school officials have said.

A community forum on construction updates and expansion costs has been planned for Thursday, September 6, at 6 p.m. in the school gym. The actual vote is Thursday, September 13, from 2 to 8 p.m. in the school gym.

Voters in Bridgehampton originally approved $24.7 million in December of 2016 for the project, which was to include a new gym and fitness room, library, cafeteria, music room and more. Plans show a 35,440-square-foot addition that more than doubles the existing building size.

“To me, the most important thing is the additional funds will allow the project to be completed as the voters originally approved,” superintendent Robert Hauser said Tuesday. “This will allow us to fulfill that commitment.”

For a homeowner with a house valued at $1 million, a successful referendum would yield an additional $40 per year in taxes over the life of the 20-year bond. That figure was compiled by Munistat, the district’s financial consulting firm.

Representatives of that firm, along with the school administration, architect, construction manager and geothermal consultant, will be on hand at the community forum to answer questions.

“It’s a well-rounded group for the community to be able to ask questions and express concerns and be able to get some good feedback on the spot,” Mr. Hauser said. “It’s a short window between the forum and the vote.”

On September 13, because the vote overlaps with the state primary, residents can expect to cast paper ballots the old-fashioned way because the electronic voting machines will be in use elsewhere in Bridgehampton.