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News Release    

March 18, 2005      

County Executive Announces "Cool" Partnership with 1869 Opera House

PoughkeepsieDutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced a partnership with the Bardavon 1869 Opera House that would allow for the county and the theater to share air conditioning capacity from the County Office Building. The initiative will save the Opera House hundreds of thousands in infrastructure dollars and will be no cost to the county.

County Executive Steinhaus said, "This is a great example of collaboration between local government and a non profit organization for the betterment of the community we have facilitated."

The historic Bardavon 1869 Opera House air conditioning system dates from the early 1940’s, is outmoded and long ago met its useful life. Engineering studies have shown that the Dutchess County Office Building’s air conditioning system could meet the needs of both facilities.

Through the efforts of County Executive Steinhaus’ Department of Public Works building engineers an agreement has been proposed that would allow the Bardavon to hook up to the County Office Building’s air conditioning system at their own cost, and through a fee schedule, based on usage, the Bardavon will contribute to the County’s capital and operational costs of operating the chillers. These costs are significantly lower than purchasing an entire HVAC system.

Chris Silva, Executive Director of the Bardavon said, "Our audiences will certainly think it’s as ‘cool’ as we do. This is a unique alliance that is possible because of the enduring relationship that exists between the Bardavon and Dutchess County Executive Bill Steinhaus and of course because we’re directly across the street from each other."

The agreement covers both capital and operating costs of the unit that currently accommodates county government buildings on Market Street. Costs are determined based on hours of usage in the form of an annual fee. This too will save the theater money due to its limited operating hours during the summer months of June through August. Typically the Bardavon’s programs run through Memorial Day and resume after Labor Day. Usage of the theater during spring through fall usually occurs during nights and weekends, when county government buildings are powered down from air conditioning use, eliminating any additional strain to the existing system.

In addition, the County would be allowed to use the Bardavon up to ten times a year for meetings and in the case of emergencies. The Bardavon would be permitted to use the County’s parking lot for event parking on weekends and evenings.

County Executive Steinhaus will submit a resolution for this partnership to go into effect to the Dutchess County Legislature for their consideration at their regularly scheduled Board Meeting, April 11, 2005.

"This agreement provides a great opportunity for the County and the Bardavon to share the existing capacity of our adjacent facilities to the benefit of everyone. It will strengthen the already strong relationship between the two entities and assist the historically and culturally important theatre to continue to operate as a vital community asset," Steinhaus added.

The Bardavon is also working closely with the City of Poughkeepsie to support the construction project so that work on Market Street can commence.

City of Poughkeepsie Mayor, Nancy Cozean stated, "The City of Poughkeepsie is pleased to be able to continue to support the financial and construction efforts of the Bardavon 1869 Opera House. The 19th century opera house, the longest continually operating opera house in New York State, is a key attraction for the City. We look forward to assisting its endeavors in any way we can."


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Last Updated: 4/12/2005