While Erie Community College (ECC) is moving forward with plans to construct the new STEM building on its North Campus in Amherst, it is considering expanding its downtown footprint to accommodate a consolidated nursing program that is currently split between downtown and Amherst. The Board of Trustees was presented a plan on Thursday that would see several programs shift out of 45 Oak Street and into the Gutman Building at 133 S. Division Street to make room for the nursing program. The Board could vote on the proposal at its next meeting.
JMZ Architects and Planners, P.C. was hired by ECC to evaluate the feasibility of consolidating the nursing program at the downtown campus last year. The firm determined the nursing program’s space needs and developed a site selection criteria. Eighteen potential locations were identified downtown and twelve were selected for further review (below).
Initially, ECC was looking for a new building to house the nursing program. What’s being recommended now is that the nursing program move into ECC’s 45 Oak Street building and offices and departments currently located there move into leased space at 133 S. Division Street. The 133 S. Division Street building is owned by developer J. Roger Trettel’s REVIVAL Development Co. and is adjacent to ECC’s current downtown footprint.
Trettel has looked at a number of reuse options for the historic Gutman Building including residential units and most recently a Green Technology Center. He put those plans on hold when ECC took a serious look at the property late last year. The five-story, 22,000 sq.ft. property was built in 1909 by Nathan Gutman and William Sperling for the manufacture of men’s and boy’s trousers. In 1910, Bates Jackson Printers and Engravers occupied a portion of the building. By 1919 Gutman and Sperling were out of business and primary businesses were Bates Jackson and, over time, an artisan jewelry collaborative. Gallagher elevator moved into the ground floor in the 1940s.
Under the preferred plan (“Option 3”) presented to the ECC Board this week, the paralegal, criminal justice, and building management programs would move into the Gutman Building. Joining them would be the Education 2 Recovery and GOALS programs. A computer lab would be located on the third floor. The consolidated nursing program would occupy nearly half of 45 Oak Street that would also house the student services and consolidated grants departments. Total cost for the proposal is projected to be $12.6 million.