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Jacobs announces $500,000 grants for three Canalside attractions

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Three organizations with ties to Canalside, including two that are in the planning or construction phases of future facilities along Buffalo's waterfront, are receiving state grants to help with capital needs. State Senator Chris Jacobs was at Canalside Friday morning to announce the funding.

Jacobs says the waterfront's redevelopment has continued with projects building upon existing attractions. The grants, he believes, will help Canalside further build upon itself by aiding projects that will generate additional visitors.

"It is my view that these three projects - Explore and More, the Carousel and an enhanced and expanded Naval and Servicemen's Park - will again take this area to a level and generate even more visitors to come to Canalside and Western New York."

The Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park will use its $500,000 grant to expand its Hall of Honor.

Buffalo Heritage Carousel will use its money to continue its plans to build and open solar-powered 1924 Spillman Engineering park-styled carousel at Canalside. Components of that carousel are currently undergoing restoration.

"Seven of our 34 carousel figures, right now, are being restored," said Laurie Hauer-LaDuca, president of Buffalo Heritage Carousel. "These have been adopted, along with our specially-designed Erie Canal Barge chariot, for handicap-accessible use."

Explore and more Children's Museum chief executive officer Douglas Love explained their grant puts their capital campaign over its $28 million goal. Currently located in East Aurora, Explore and More is building its new museum in the heart of Canalside. When finished, it will feature a cafe and multiple floors of programming designed to educate youngsters with Buffalo-related themes.

"Hydroelectric power, life on the Erie Canal, local sports and recreation, Buffalo inventions, inventors, agriculture, architecture, we have it all in our new $28 million dollar Canalside museum," Love said. 

Completion of both future attractions is anticipated in the second half of 2018.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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