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Grant Street Scares Buff State

Buffalo State College has tweaked its plans for a new $49 million dorm complex on the west side of its campus. The revised dorm complex will front Rees Street placing a small wing, green space and possibly parking along Grant Street.  Stan Kardonsky, Buffalo State’s Vice President of Finance and Management, detailed the changes to representatives of West Side/Black Rock/Riverside Neighborhood Housing Services, Dart-Danforth Block Club, Riverside Good Neighbors Planning Alliance, the Grant-Amherst Business Association and others on May 13. 

The new plan calls for a building with four, five and seven-story wings set back from Grant Street with green space that would be open to the public.  According to Kardonsky, the changes address security and safety concerns explaining that if the building had been located directly along Grant Street, student first-floor apartments would be “vulnerable to breaks-ins and other mischief.”

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The new building will contain 507 beds.  1200 sq.ft. student apartments will contain four private bedrooms in suites with two bathrooms, a living room and kitchen.  Rents for the first year are projected to be $800 per month, with free internet and utilities.  Laundry facilities will be located on the first floor.  College officials hope to break ground this summer and expect the complex to be ready for the spring 2011 semester.  

Concerns at the meeting were raised about student parking, increased traffic, congestion, roadway disruptions caused by the construction, and obstructing the view of the Richardson complex towers.  

Buffalo State will lose 480 parking spaces to the dorm project.  Out of nearly 12,000 students, less than 2,100 live on campus.  The college is considering adding more surface parking on the west side of Grant Street where a parking ramp is expected to be built as part of a proposed new stadium.

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While the dorm design is livelier than the preliminary concept, the site plan is heading in the opposite direction by not embracing Grant Street.  College officials are also studying the possibility of constructing a pedestrian bridge over Grant Street to connect the stadium and main campus.  It is an interesting course of action for a college that offers a degree in urban and regional analysis and planning

Urban and regional analysis and planning provides students with an understanding of how communities are structured, what their needs are, and how they are governed. Planners develop long-term and short-term plans to use land for the growth and revitalization of urban, suburban, and rural communities, while helping local officials make decisions concerning social, economic, and environmental problems.

Perhaps they should be consulted.

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