Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus and Bardavon Director Chris Silva are breaking ground on a collaboration that will allow 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 collaboration between local government and a non profit organization is an example of how we can maximize an opportunity for the betterment of our community.”
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 the Dutchess County Office Building’s air conditioning system could meet the needs of both facilities.
The county has tailored an agreement that allows 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, 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 currently accommodating 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 will be allowed to use the Bardavon up to ten times a year for meetings and in the case of emergencies. The Bardavon will be permitted to use the County’s parking lot for event parking on weekends and evenings.
“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 us and assist the historically and culturally important theatre to continue to operate as a vital community asset,” Steinhaus added.
Work has begun on the project and should be completed by mid September.