The Scarsdale High School Auditorium is a gathering space for the entire Scarsdale community. Every high school student uses the auditorium for school-wide assemblies and for band, orchestra, and chorus concerts. The auditorium is also home to SHS acting and theater tech classes, the Jabberfest student talent show, the annual SHS Senior Class Play which brings together classmates for a culminating bonding experience, and numerous annual Drama Club performances which are attended by thousands of people in the greater Scarsdale community. Parents, alumni and other community members also gather in the auditorium for various meetings and special programs.
The space has sadly fallen into disrepair and the District administration, after thorough study, proposes an auditorium renovation with an up-to-date scope of work that addresses the current needs—including improved acoustics and lighting, new audience seats, dressing room reconfigurations, modifications to enhance students’ theater tech learning experience and safety, and additions to improve accessibility. This work aligns with the District’s strategic educational priorities for cohesive community, personalized learning, and wellness and well-being. The Board of Education unanimously supports investment in this long-delayed renovation.
If passed by voters, the current plan is to have the project responsibly funded through the issuance of a school bond of up to $4.75M, spreading the cost over a 10-year period. The annual debt service associated with the bond would be offset by available surplus funds and state funding to significantly lower the total expense for taxpayers to just over $1.3M. The projected average annual household impact will be just under $28/year. Comparable area school districts have recently rebuilt or renovated their aging auditoriums at significant costs, renewing their commitment to arts education and community spaces. Scarsdale has recently invested money in other areas of student experience but the last major upgrade to the auditorium was over 30 years ago.
We wholeheartedly support thisreasonable and much needed project. The investment will benefit students’ learning and well-being and will give all residents a space that fosters connection and enjoyment of the arts. We urge the entire community to VOTE YES on the BOND.