The New Paltz Amphitheater at Lenape
The Duzine/Lenape PTA is thrilled to announce an exciting new project recently approved by the New Paltz Board of Education:
A 500-seat performance, education, and gathering space for the entire New Paltz Central School District community, to be built on the grounds of Lenape Elementary.
The amphitheater will support arts programming and educational experiences for students at Lenape as well as Duzine Elementary, New Paltz Middle School, and New Paltz High School, while also offering a public performance venue for use by local non-profit organizations.
It all began in 2015 with a conversation between Lenape teacher Liz Burdick and incoming Lenape principal Audrey Wood. Ms. Wood asked Ms. Burdick a question Ms. Burdick had never been asked in her 27-plus years of teaching: “What are your hopes and dreams for Lenape?” After explaining how Lenape has developed a reputation for producing great class plays over the years, Ms. Burdick lamented that the school didn’t have an auditorium or performance space of its own. Teachers scrambled to share the cafeteria stage during the few hours when there weren’t meals or band practice, and struggled with acoustics and seating arrangements. Ms. Wood asked, “Wouldn’t it be great if you could have an amphitheater?” Both educators immediately thought of the same site as an ideal location: the hillside behind the Lenape gymnasium.
This brainstorm went from dream to reality when Ms. Wood spoke with PTA president Jennifer Voorhis and learned that the PTA was on board to raise all the funds necessary to build the amphitheater. Another meeting with local landscaper Mark Masseo confirmed that the hillside already had good drainage that would minimize the cost of construction.
Since the project was announced, the public’s support has been overwhelming. The New Paltz Amphitheater at Lenape combines everything we associate with the spirit of New Paltz: education, the arts, the outdoors, and community!
HOW TO BE A PART OF IT
There are many ways local businesses and individuals can take part in helping the New Paltz Amphitheater at Lenape meet its target completion date of Spring 2019: