By CHRIS EBERHART
After a decade of preparations, the Bronxville School is ready to move forward with its auditorium and science lab renovation project.
Dan Carlin, the district’s assistant superintendent of business, said the $10 million renovation project was recently approved by the New York State Department of Education after months of waiting and 10 years of planning.
Carlin said, of the $10 million, $4.5 million will be bonded, $3 million will come from donations and $2.5 million will come from the school’s capital reserve.
Despite the steep price, Carlin said this is a project that has to be done.
“The building is old. It hasn’t been touched since the 80’s,” Carlin said about the auditorium. “Its paint is peeling, it leaks, the seats are old, there’s lighting issues. It’s just in a drastic need for refurbishment.”
The design plan, created by KG&D Architects, calls for a complete overhaul of the auditorium starting with the floor and seats, which will be ripped up and replaced by a new sloped floor with stepped “stadium” seating.
The plan also calls for a new stage floor, a wraparound balcony and an addition to the lobby with an outside terrace that will serve as both the main entrance and a corridor connecting the band room and the stage.
According to the plan, the new auditorium will be more compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act and wheelchair accessible with state of the art lights and sound systems built in.
Schools Superintendent David Quattrone said the auditorium renovations will cost about $8 million alone. The remaining $2 million will be spent on refurbishing the science labs, which haven’t been updated in 40 years.
Working with the school’s science teachers, KG&D designed the plans for the creation of four science labs along with a large prep room. The plan calls for the science classrooms to be moved to the end of the hallway to create a science wing.
Quattrone said he’s excited about the project and is encouraged by the early influx of interested contractors.
“We are pleased that our long planned auditorium and science lab renovation plans have been approved and are out to bid,” the superintendent said. “A large number of contractors have expressed interest in the project, and we look forward to awarding a bid in January and breaking ground some time in February.”
Carlin said he expects the project to be finished around March 2015.
Bronxville’s Board of Education put the proposed project, and bonding to help pay for it, out to referendum in October 2012. Both referendums were approved by district voters.