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Burnt Hills voters approve $34 million project

Burnt Hills voters approve $34 million project

Work includes safety improvements, new auditorium
Burnt Hills voters approve $34 million project
Photographer: Shutterstock

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake school district voters on Tuesday approved a $34 million capital project.

With nearly 70 percent of voters supporting the project -- with what officials said was the second-highest turnout for a capital project in the district's history -- the district expects to start work this summer.

The project funds updates to classrooms, safety improvements and the construction of a new transportation building.

More than $6 million of the Burnt Hills project is devoted to improving safety and security at O’Rourke Middle School, as well as improving classroom spaces. The plan calls for constructing a new, more secure entrance and lobby at the middle school. The main office, as well as offices for guidance counselors, social workers and the nurse, also will be moved to the newly built main entrance.

The showcase of the project, however, may be a $10 million overhaul of the high school’s auditorium, which was built in 1955. That space, district officials contend, is long overdue for major upgrades and an expansion of seating, which falls short of accommodating the whole student body.

The approving vote in Burnt Hills comes shortly after a $42 million project was narrowly rejected by voters in Guilderland. School district officials there have said they are regrouping, but that safety, infrastructure and academic needs still must be addressed in some way.

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