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Groundbreaking for Phase II of Schools Reconstruction Project

By Anthea Passmore

Buffalo, NY – Groundbreaking ceremonies were held yesterday at Waterfront Elementary School for the second phase of the Joint Schools Reconstruction Program. Phase two is part of a ten year program that will spend $1 billion on building new schools and renovating existing ones in the city.

Waterfront Elementary is one of 13 schools undergoing reconstruction in Phase II of the Joint Schools Reconstruction Project. Aided by legislation passed by New York State in August 2004 and approved by Governor Pataki, Phase II has become a reality. Mayor Masiello said it's important for development of schools to occur alongside development of neighborhoods.

"Not only is the Joint Schools Reconstruction effort very valuable and successful, it's keeping kids in their neighborhoods," Masiello said. "I think that's a great one, two punch for the future of the city of Buffalo."

The Joint Schools Reconstruction Project has been so successful Masiello said that other cities have decided to replicate the program.

"The city of Syracuse recently passed similar legislation, giving them the ability to do what we have done here in Buffalo," Masiello said. "Other cities, too, are looking at what we're doing here because what we're doing flat out works. It's a seamless process of helping children, creating jobs and enhancing neighborhoods."

The $308 million projects will include the renovation of 13 public schools. In addition, Phase II will also encompass the All-High Stadium and district wide technology upgrades.