Bel Air OKs arts center

July 19, 2006|By MARY GAIL HARE | MARY GAIL HARE,SUN REPORTER

The Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners voted yesterday to establish a performing arts center in the county seat by financing, in partnership with Harford County, an expansion of the auditorium planned for the new Bel Air High School, scheduled to open in 2009.

An additional 260 seats will add $2.5 million to the $75 million project to be built on land adjoining a 56-year-old high school, which houses 1,639 students, more than 200 above its capacity. Over the next three years, the town will pay $500,000 annually, while the county contributes $300,000 - fully funding the expansion.

Only Commissioner David E. Carey dissented in the 3-1 vote yesterday. Carey said he could not burden the town with the cost of auditorium seats.

The county Board of Education is expected to approve the expansion at a special session next week and has a revised architectural plan for the building.

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