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Buffalo's Central Terminal Getting Back on Track

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By Joyce Kryszak

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-822150.mp3

Buffalo, NY – It has been nearly a year since the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation went through a change in leadership. Longtime President Russell Pawlak stepped down after a decade fighting to preserve the landmark.

When Pawlak started his crusade ten years ago, most people thought he was crazy. Who would want anything to do with a dilapidated, cold, cavernous old train station?

But with a little clean-up - several tons of debris - and more than a million dollars of patch work to keep mother nature off the platform, the building began to attract attention. Today, the terminal welcomes some 30,000 visitors to more than a dozen events. New president Mike Miller said they are still on track - despite Pawlak's departure from the terminal.

But in the year since the leadership change, board participation has fallen off. There are currently three openings on a nine member board. And some long-time volunteers are also discouraged about the direction of the organization. That's according Bernadette Majewski, the former marketing director. Majewski said she and the board had a parting of ways over the marketing and strategic planning for the terminal.

Majewski also worries the group is not pursuing the grants and the same kind of cultural events that sustain it.

Miller said their marketing has scaled back. And he said they lost out on a community foundation grant that would have helped the organization restructure. But he points to successes such as a $20,000 grant from the Common Council and preservation awards, as well as the completion of two major capital projects this year.

Miller says, overall, the terminal is on solid ground. He says this was never a one-man show.

Still, Miller agrees the board needs to beef up the by-laws and develop a long-range plan that will determine the best future use of the terminal.

Click the audio player above to hear Joyce Kryszak's story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.