Pressure is mounting on the ECC Board of Trustees to shift gears on its proposal to build a $30 million Health Sciences Center for Excellence at the college’s North Campus.
Rev. Darius Pridgen and Greg Conley, co-chair of Young Citizens for ECC, along with several others, were on hand at the college’s Board of Trustees meeting to advocate shifting the proposal to the City Campus, where it could tap into opportunities at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
“My fear is that history may repeat itself if we are not careful,” said Pridgen. “We have a stadium that is named after Buffalo in the suburbs. We have a University of Buffalo that went to the suburbs.”
County Executive Chris Collins has promised $7.5 million of the $30 million needed to move forward on the North Campus proposal, but hopes for additional funding have dwindled since the Western New York state delegation recently turned down a $15 million request from the college due in part to its refusal to consider locating the facility at the City Campus.
“As we engage the regionʼs political leadership on this issue, it becomes more and more apparent that building such a facility at the North Campus is a non-starter,” said Conley. “The proposal is becoming less realistic and achievable by the day, yet the possibilities for an expanded City Campus have never been more promising.”
Conley said he believes the North Campus proposal is “dead or dying,” and believes shifting the proposal to downtown Buffalo can earn the public support needed to secure funding.
“No matter what you do in the suburbs, Buffalo is your hub,” said Pridgen. “Continue considering Buffalo for expansion. If you need some buildings, I’ll find them for you.”