By Tessa Raebeck
Bridgehampton voters overwhelmingly agreed to fund $827,000 in capital projects at the Bridgehampton School, including the installation of new fire escapes and other major repairs considered essential by the district.
Out of the 70 district residents who voted Tuesday, 64 approved the spending. Four absentee ballots were tallied.
Built more than 85 years ago, the Bridgehampton School has never had any major updates to its infrastructure, according to Superintendent/Principal Dr. Lois Favre. Additional outer buildings that were supposed to be temporary have been in use for “many more years than planned,” she said.
Voters approved the establishment of a five-year capital plan to fund major improvements and repairs at the school last March and the Board of Education (BOE) put $827,000 in that reserve fund in June. Tuesday’s vote approved the actual spending of that money.
Dr. Favre said after reviewing the building’s five-year plan, “it was indicated that due to the budget crunching in recent years, we are getting behind on repairs.”
The district can now move forward on longstanding priority items like installing new fire escapes and replacing the gymnasium floor and skylights.
Bridgehampton students will also enjoy new playground equipment and could be playing on it by the next school year; the district hopes to complete all projects over the summer of 2014 so as not to interfere with school instruction.
Smaller capital projects are also covered by the funding, including installing a new generator, resurfacing the outdoor basketball court, fixing leaks in the electrical room and replacing emergency lighting in several buildings.
“In an effort to keep to our five year plan and assure safety for our students,” said Dr. Favre, “the board believes that catching up with, and assuring attention to the five year plan is in the best interest of all. The allocation of the funds by the public will assist us in doing just that.”