A community center to house the Queen City Home School Collective and The ReSource is proposed for Southampton Street. The planned 6,750 sq.ft. building would provide space for community engagement, arts, informal education as well as play space. The space will also include an outdoor play space, children’s garden, and parking for nine cars constructed with permeable pavers. Kathleen M. Kinan is project architect.
From the project application:
We propose the construction of a community center that will serve two primary programmatic functions: the primary base for the Queen City HomeSchool Collective, a group currently of 75 families, and home base for the East Side Community Resource and Education Center (The Resource) a space for family focused community engagement, arts, education, and play.
The Queen City Home School Collective (www.gchsc.org) offers learning opportunities, from core curriculum to enrichment classes, where families can choose classes based on their educational priorities. Their mission is to offer classes that foster a love of learning, encourage civic involvement and create an inclusive space for children to form lasting friendships regardless of race, ethnicity, class, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, religion or national origin. They were founded in 2017 and for the past year they have been meeting at the Dream Center, located at 286 Lafayette. However, due to building conditions and the growing space demands of the collective, they are in desperate need of a consistent space to grow and serve the needs of their community.
The ReSource would be a space for community engagement, the arts, informal education, and play. We envision a place where anyone is welcome to attend a musical event, art project, or theatrical performance with their children. A place where kids can play freely and parents can network, socialize, and relax. A place where you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a chill, playful, goofy, educational, and inspiring experience with your family. A place where community and kinship with others provides comfort when the challenges of daily life may seem overwhelming. On any given day, evening or weekend, you can expect to find intensive learning activities for all ages, workshops and presentations by local resource people, theatrical performances, open play activities, dancing, music, art, song, the endless flow of ideas and opportunity and so much more. This vision inspires us as we consider a context for learning for our own children and those of the surrounding communities.
This project is critical to bringing people together on the East Side of Buffalo. Our founders have been actively involved in a variety of vibrant community projects on the East Side including: Pelion Community Garden, The Foundry, The Guild @ 980, The ReUe Action Community Store, ReTree of Western New York tree plantings (over 1000 trees planted), UB Day of Caring, and numerous other efforts that have leveraged hundreds of volunteers to make improvements in our neighborhood. This is the type of project that can really galvanize people in a neighborhood and communicate the sense of pride that we have for the neighborhood. This is the type of asset that a neighborhood needs to invite people in, to help people feel more welcome so that they too can visit more often and maybe even become homeowners nearby. We are eager and ready to create this unique space for the community, families, and children and we are eager to continue building.
The Planning Board will review the project on Monday.