- The study claims no County-owned land is available for expansion near the City Campus, which is false. 100 N. Division St., a 1.3-acre parking lot, was purchased by Erie County in 2002 for City Campus expansion.
- The study claims parking is scarce at the City Campus, which is false. A 2006 Desman Associates study commissioned by the City’s Board of Parking indicates that there is a parking surplus near the City Campus. 32,730 parking spaces exist within walking distance of the City Campus.
- The study claims the North Campus is ideal for expansion because health science and STEM programs are already located there, yet ECC has a choice in this matter. The college has the opportunity to shift programs into new facilities at the City Campus, just as the University at Buffalo is doing with its move downtown of the Medical School, scheduled to open by 2016.
So far, we’ve heard only that this flawed study is being relied upon because ECC and the County paid $171,000 for it. That is not, and is never, a good reason to pursue a bad idea. If this $171,000 study concluded that ECC should jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, would the Poloncarz administration stand behind it?
We appreciate that your administration now confirms, after several denials (including from you personally on Facebook on 7/14/13), that the facility will indeed house health sciences programs. Job creation and economic development goals will be better realized if health sciences and other programs, including STEM, are located in a central, transit-rich location. That means bringing these programs downtown, not expanding them fourteen miles away on Youngs Road, where many students will struggle to access them.
You stated in your 2012 inaugural address, “A thriving city is directly linked to thriving suburbs and rural communities.” You also stated that, after years of being “riddled with missed opportunities” and “plagued with disappointment as the result of misguided policies,” Erie County must finally “invest in projects that actually provide a return on investment.”
We could not agree more.
The case for expanding the City Campus is overwhelming. As your study indicates, 47% of ECC students reside in the City, yet the City Campus is equipped to serve only 25% of ECC’s students. The City Campus is the most accessible educational environment in Western New York, and is located where we both the need and return on investment will be greatest. This investment is an opportunity to transform the City Campus into the flagship, rather than the smallest, of ECC’s three campuses.
More and more people across Erie County are agreeing that this opportunity must not be squandered, and we hope that you will arrive at this position as well.
Thank you kindly for your consideration. If you’d like to reach us, please contact Bernice Radle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Co-Chairs, Young Citizens for ECC