Monday, May 20th

Friends of Music and the Arts Urges You to Vote Yes for the Renovation of the SHS Auditorium

auditoriumrenovationFriends of Music and the Arts urges you to vote yes for the bond to fund the Scarsdale High School Auditorium. See their letters below.

(From Laura Gelblum, President of Friends of Music & the Arts)

Even though community response to the Scarsdale High School auditorium proposal has been overwhelmingly supportive, the renovation will only become reality if residents GO VOTE to approve the bond at next week’s Scarsdale Schools election. Please make time on your calendar to vote on Tuesday May 16—and vote YES for the auditorium bond.

The renovation’s scope of work was developed by a professional team with significant stakeholder input, satisfying still-incomplete improvements approved in the 2014 bond and addressing the current needs. The outcome will improve delivery of our high school’s popular performing arts curriculum as well as provide an enhanced community gathering space for all. And, the capital bond is a financially responsible approach to funding the project, with an annual impact of about $28/year per average household.

For more information on the SHS auditorium project, visit www.scarsdalearts.org

Polls will be open Tuesday May 16, 7am-9pm, at the Scarsdale Middle School Gym. Help Scarsdale gather, perform and grow!

Laura Gelblum
President, Friends of Music & the Arts

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Open Letter to the Scarsdale Community:

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.

As parents, students and other members of the Scarsdale community we wholeheartedly support this reasonable 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.

Laurie Arakawa
Debra Asher-Zitrin
Allison Block
Isabel Block
Lisa Bradlow
Gokul Chebiyam
Lisa Copeland
Emilie Cordell
Michael Dawson Crowley
Beth Cukier
Randi Culang
Kelsa DeBrabant
Jonathan Finegold
Isabel Finegold
Sabrina Finegold
Jack Finegold
Laura Gelblum
Valerie Glicker
Kathy Gray
Diane Greenwald
Fernando Gueler
Karen Hogan
Eden Hoong
Sherry Hsu
Marisa Jackson
Lauren Jacobson
Glenn Jacobson
Jennifer Kahan
Esthela Lecuona
Liza Levy
Tina Lin
Bonnie Loeser
Danil Makarov
Julia McClanan
Meghana Mehta
Mariuxi Menzer
Daniel Milberg
Margot Milberg
Veronica Olivieri
Jeannine Palermo
Vinnie Phuah Hoong
Rohini Sahni
Amy Schiff
Scott Schiff
Reshma Shetty
Penny Smith
Mimi Song
Nancy Trager
Bryan Tsou
Joan and Louis Uchitelle
Nicole Ungar
Archna Verma
Christine Weston
Fengyun Wu
Cindy Yau
Renee Youn
Stacey Zoland

FMA | Friends of Music & the Arts is the nonprofit parent booster group that supports visual and performing arts in Scarsdale Schools. To get involved visit www.scarsdalearts.org

(From Shira Tabib)

Dear Members of the Scarsdale Community:

My family and I have been residents of Scarsdale for most of my life. I attended the Quaker Ridge Elementary School, Scarsdale Middle School and Scarsdale High School. Seven years ago my husband and I returned to Scarsdale to raise our family in the Quaker Ridge neighborhood that I grew up in. In short, I am a committed and proud Scarsdalian, and care deeply about our community.

My family and I are in support of the Scarsdale High School auditorium renovation, and are supporters of funding the project by way of a bond. The renovation of the High School auditorium will improve the students’ experience, with better lighting, acoustics, better equipment, etc. The auditorium is also a place for important school meetings and gatherings of students and adults from across the community. I feel that it is imperative that our children assemble and learn in a modernized environment that expresses our community’s values for performing arts and where presenters can be heard well.

Our daughters are now seventh and eighth graders at the Scarsdale Middle School, and are active participants in the community and at school. Both have been involved in the elementary and middle school plays, and take much pride in their roles on and off the stage. This year, our seventh grader participated in the SMS play, SpongeBob, which played to a packed audience, and it brings me such joy to see how her participation in the program is playing a meaningful role in her development as a confident and happy young woman. The lessons the students learn at play rehearsals are invaluable - building lasting friendships, enhancing speaking skills, and challenging them to get out of their comfort zones. Equally as significant, theatre has become a place of refuge from screen time, which has become so invasive to both the home and classroom experiences - the list of benefits are too great to name here. My daughters look forward to their continued involvement and participation in future theatre programs at the Scarsdale High School.

I would note that our family has attended several wonderful SHS theatre performances over the years, most recently Mamma Mia. While the SHS theatre program is doing a fantastic job at producing highly entertaining productions, I can tell you firsthand that the theatre, from what I can see, has not been meaningfully updated in at least 30 years.

As a mother of two Middle Schoolers, I would be so excited to share with my daughters that they will be entering the High School with a facility that will no doubt improve their social, recreational and educational experiences. The renovation of the High School auditorium will benefit our community at large, and will be a wonderful meeting place that we can all be proud of. I urge all Scarsdale voters to make time to VOTE YES for the SHS Auditorium Bond at the election on Tuesday May 16.

Shira Tabib
Heathcote Road

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