Performing Arts - Update

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Not much press recently in the Buffalo News or from local bloggers about the single largest construction project in Buffalo's history. I've re-printed a piece that just appeared in last week's Busines First, in case you missed it.

It's the latest about the game of 'musical chairs' that's happening with Phase II of the Joint Schools Re-construction Project, the one billion dollar construction project that's impacting neighborhoods all over the City and bringing schools inline with 21st century design standards. More importantly this project is having a major impact on kids lives here in Buffalo. It probably doesn't get the press or blog coverage that it deserves as the sites are scattered all over the City and the time frame is ten years.

The City is still struggling with abandoned, boarded and derelict residential and commercial property surrounding some of the City's newest schools. Here in Masten and especially around the future of home of Performing Arts High School, City Inspectors have been vigilant in getting property into Housing Court and getting some of the worst offending property demolished. We still have a way to go. Eight houses, within a block of the new Performing Arts location, came down in 2005. I've identifed another 6 houses that have got to go...and one major commercial building that is simply beyond repair. Another site would make an excellent location for a new Starbucks! A block from the new school.

I first began writing about these problems over here in The School House Project, last year. And before the semester begins, I promise to visit these same sites with an update.

Here's the latest from Business First, just last week.
James Fink
Business First
In one of the most dramatic and high profile moves of Buffalo's $1 billion, decade-long public schools reconstruction project, officials are preparing the final set of bids that will ultimately see Buffalo Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts move to its new home.

The construction bids on the $22 million project are slated to hit the street by within the next few months, said Heather Groll, Buffalo Public Schools spokeswoman.

According to construction industry documents, obtained by Business First, the project will see Performing Arts Academy move from its current home on Clinton Street to the former Buffalo Traditional School site on E. Ferry Street. Buffalo Traditional, which was constructed more than four decades ago, is built on the site of the former Offermann Stadium, once home to the Buffalo Bisons.

The project will see another 35,000 square feet added to the school, mainly to house a new entranceway, a classroom wing that includes science labs and art studios and a visual arts center. A 700-seat auditorium is also included in the project.

The current school has 178,500 square feet. Once the bids are reviewed, construction is scheduled to begin in June.

LPCiminelli is working with the Buffalo School District on the entire reconstruction effort while Cannon Design has been retained as the project architect for the Performing Arts Academy.
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Here's the LPCiminelli site devoted to the Buffalo Joint School Reconstruction Project. I would very much like to hear how some of the other school projects have been managed and meet the needs of neighborhoods, parents, teachers and of course the students.

Special thanks to Chris Byrd over at the BAVPA alumni organization for bringing this Buffalo First article to my attention. Chris is also the creative juice behind IndaBuff, cool Buffalo things.

Here's an additional view of the new Performing Arts site. More views here at the BAVPA site.

click pic for additional info...
2006 will be an exciting year for the City's near East Side. Breaking ground for Performing Arts, Artspace, a new Post Office and the recent sale of Cash Cunningham's Packard Building at Main & Riley to a New York City developer (pics to follow) for additional cool apartments are adding up to a renewed interest and some serious development. Just alittle in to the East Side, along Michigan Avenue, don't forget this, or this earlier story about Michigan Avenue. And if you haven't set up an appointment with Polis Realty to see Coe Place, like what are you waiting for!
Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006faq

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One little thing here - the future home of Performing Arts is the current home of Waterfront. They are currently waiting for the finalization of the reconstruction over on 4th St.
It would seem that "June" is optimistic, especially if Waterfront isn't finished.