At the groundbreaking, school board president Stuart Lyman said, "Today is a new beginning."
"The whole community should really look forward to this day," said Lyman.
Many town, county and state officials were on hand for the groundbreaking, including Albany County Executive Mike Breslin.
"The fundamental backbone of our community is the school system," Breslin said. "It's a magnificent community because of the school system and the kids."
State Assemblyman Tim Gordon, I-Slingerlands, said this year's state budget showed "an unprecedented commitment to our local schools."
Bethlehem's school budget totaling $77.2 million passed in the May 15 district election. Fifteen new buses were also approved in a school proposition vote with five of the new bus fleet supporting student transportation to and from Eagle Elementary.
"People love this community because of the quality of several things, including our education system," said Bethlehem town board member Sam Messina.
Town Supervisor Jack Cunningham said Eagle Elementary is an "example of what we are able to offer to the community."
Glenmont Elementary was the last elementary school to be constructed in Bethlehem in 1957. Hamagrael was built in 1954, Clarksville in 1948 and Slingerlands in 1940. Elsmere is the oldest Bethlehem elementary school, constructed in 1927.""