On July 19, PUSH Buffalo officially unveiled their new digs at School 77. The unveiling introduced the public to the renovated and repurposed $15 million, 80,000 square foot, solar-power generated project, which includes 30 units of affordable housing, a community center, a community recreational gymnasium, offices for PUSH Buffalo, space for Peace of the City, and a new home for Ujima Theatre.
Outgoing co-founder and Executive Director Aaron Bartley, and new executive director Rahwa Ghirmatzion, both spoke at the ceremony, shining a light on the grassroots importance of the public financed project. According to Bartley, the significant importance of the new neighborhood center is the affordable and welcoming aspects of the building. The former school will be a place that is an intergenerational sanctuary, where people will come to live, play, learn, and contribute to the growth of the city.
Ghirmatzion also mentioned the intergenerational aspect of the project, by saying that the neighborhood youth, along with the elders, both came together to express their wants and needs for facility programming. This development project is certainly a win-win for the West Side community. It also sets a precedent for like-minded community-driven efforts to follow.
The School 77 project, located at 429 Plymouth Avenue on the city’s West Side, was recently featured in Curbed.com.
Lead image: Stieglitz Snyder Architecture – click here to learn more about green aspects of the community hub, as well as some of the financial components. Construction managers and general contractors for the project was RP Oak Hill Building Company.