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Buffalo Planning Board approves Nardin expansion plan

Nardin Academy moved closer to a spring start for a major expansion on its Elmwood Village campus, as the city Planning Board approved its site plan.

The school was back in front of the Planning Board to settle some issues left unsettled two weeks ago, like where the construction workers will park when around a third of the spaces on the campus will be blocked off by the construction. Off-site parking is the solution.

There is also the issue of what to do about storm water, with even more impermeable surfaces on the campus. The original plan was a small holding pond, although that would have meant cutting down some tall trees. Architect Tom Kujawa said the solution is a large underground holding tank.

Credit Schneider Architectural Services
Schneider Architectural Services
Rendering of new sports courts.

"About 200' long, I believe it's going to be a big chamber underground," Kujawa said. "The whole thing is that we're trying to reduce the demand on the existing public stormwater utility system, which is overtaxed, and we don't want that water in the system. You keep it more on site now."

Because sewers in the neighborhood aren't large enough, the water in the holding tank will be held until there is room in the sewers.

Nardin President Marsha Sullivan said with the Planning Board's approval, the plan now is to have enough money raised that construction can start on the gym and wellness center in the spring and finish late in the summer of 2020.

"It certainly gives us a very important green light to continue with our fundraising goals, not quite there yet," Sullivan said. "Our board will determine if we have made it as far as they would like us to, with the 70 percent of cost of the building and some auxiliary parts of the project to be sure that we are fiscally sound before we start."

Sullivan will not say how much the new building will cost, but said students and parents are excited about the expansion.

"As we began to talk to you all and things were in the paper and on the radio, we put out all the plans and excitement to our whole school community and our parents and tremendous excitement about being able to have that upgraded facility," she said, "but the wellness and the space that the kids have to really have that benefit their student experience."

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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