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UB Partners with University District Church to Open Computer Lab

By Joyce Kryszak


Buffalo, NY – A room in the basement of the New Testament Revival Cathedral on the East Side is now home to the Phoenix Computer lab. The free community resource was unveiled Monday by officials from UB and the city of Buffalo.

It eventually might be a quiet computer lab. But, on Monday there was loud and joyous celebration in the basement room at New Testament Revival church on Kensington.

The university collaborated with the church and University District Common Councilmember Bonnie Russell to open the lab. UB donated ten like-new computers and the tech support to keep them running. Russell's district committed $3,500 annually to pay for equipment maintenance and more computers. But everyone involved agrees the project never would have happened if not for the tenacity of church leader Kandice Drayton. She said they kept asking until they got the right answer.

The computers are available for use to any neighborhood child or adult free of charge. Drayton, who also runs a food program from the church, said the lab is desperately needed in the neighborhood where many children have no computers at home.

The lab will be staffed full-time with volunteers from Americorps, the Buffalo summer youth program and UB interns. They will monitor computer use to make sure they are used appropriately. They also will provide computer instruction. UB will continue to provide tech support. Linwood Roberts from UB's community relations department pushed for the donated computers. He said this is not a temporary arrangement - and he said there will be others.

Roberts said they are looking for other community partners to set up similar labs in other south campus neighborhoods. UB officials say it is part of their efforts to be "good neighbors" and improve the quality of life in the areas bordering the south campus.

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