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Sep 11, 2017 2:11 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Bridgehampton School Expansion Plans To Be Discussed At Meeting On September 20

Robert Hauser, assistant superintendent of finance and facilities at Bridgehampton School, reviews plans for his school's construction project. AMANDA BERNOCCO
Sep 12, 2017 1:27 PM

Bridgehampton School’s architect, contractor and Board of Education will meet for the first time next week to discuss how they intend to proceed with expansion plans for the single-school district.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, September 20, inside the school’s cafeteria, prior to the board’s monthly meeting. Officials said they intend to review preliminary plans that call for nearly doubling the size of the building, work that will be financed with a $24.7 million bond that was approved by district taxpayers in May.

Blueprints call for a 35,000-square-foot addition on the back of the school, the construction of a new fitness center and renovations to the older parts of the building.

If all goes according to plan, the district will break ground in the spring of 2018, according to Robert Hauser, the assistant superintendent of finance and facilities at Bridgehampton School. The entire project, he added, is tentatively scheduled to be completed by December 2019, around when students return from the holiday break.

At next week’s “kickoff meeting,” Mr. Hauser said, officials are expected to focus on how to safely get crews and equipment—including construction vehicles—to the rear of the school without endangering students or faculty.

He added that the district is currently considering three options: cutting through the faculty parking lot to the west of the school, providing access via the playground and tennis court on the east side of the school, or securing permission to access the rear of the school from a neighboring farm on Lockwood Avenue.

At this point, the district is leaning toward having the construction vehicles enter from the east side of the school, a scenario that most likely would force the temporary closure of the playground and tennis courts, according to Mr. Hauser, who said district officials would prefer not to disrupt the faculty parking lot, while also noting that the trail through the farm might be too narrow.

Representatives from John A. Grillo Architects of Port Jefferson, School Construction Consultants of Bohemia and the seven-member Board of Education will discuss the three options now on the table during next week’s meeting. Interested district residents are welcome to attend the meeting.

“Enrollment is growing to the point where we don’t have enough room for students,” said Mr. Hauser, who noted that enrollment has jumped by 43 percent, or 65 students, since he joined the district eight years earlier.

Bridgehampton School’s enrollment now stands at 215, and that includes students from prekindergarten through the 12th grade.

The main goal of the expansion project is to house all students under the same roof, Mr. Hauser said. Presently, the district’s prekindergarten and special education students are taught in portable classrooms.

The upgrades will also eliminate the need for other students to exit the main building and walk to the portables, where they now take their science and music classes, according to Board of Education President Ronald White.

The upcoming work, which is the first major capital project ever undertaken at Bridgehampton School, will force the relocation of the school’s baseball field. It will eventually be moved to another portion of the 10-acre property.

Construction blueprints were filed with the State Department of Education on June 30, according to Mr. Hauser, who also expects to secure approval of the work from Albany by the end of November.

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