A vacant former public school building will see new life as a community asset again. PUSH Buffalo, a local but nationally recognized community based non-profit, and its housing development entity, Buffalo Neighborhood Stabilization Company, Inc. led an effort over the last few years that will see the former Buffalo Public School 77, located at 429 Plymouth Avenue on the west side transform into 30 affordable senior housing units, office space, community space, a community recreational gymnasium, and an auditorium for a local theatre company. This building will also have energy efficient and green features like community solar.
Through a neighborhood planning process, community members chose to include these uses. “We’re very excited, because the transformation which was engaged, really, with the residents over a two year period, deep engagement from them. They wanted 30 senior affordable units, that’s what’s going to go into this building, [for ages] 55 and older. And the first level is going to be a community hub,” said Rahwa Ghirmatzion, deputy director PUSH Buffalo.
The first floor of the building will house much needed office space for PUSH, and Peace of the City, a local organization that helps develop youth into entrepreneurs. There will be community space for programming, a refurbished gym, and the aud will transform into the new home for Ujima Theatre Company, an organization that has been doing Theatre in Buffalo for more than 20 years.
Groundbreaking for the project is scheduled for today.