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Plans for ECC remain unclear

The Poloncarz Administration is taking a long look at the future direction of ECC as an outgrowth of the fight over a new $30 million building.

Originally, that building was to be on the North Campus where its aging buildings are prompting  students to attend Niagara County Community College. An ensuing dispute emerged as downtown proponents argued the new building should go on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus to train future health care workers.

Deputy County Executive Richard Tobe says the new building is vital to the future of ECC.

"We want to build a building that will most meets the needs of the community. We think it will be in technical education or advanced manufacturing education," Tobe said.

"But we're open to the results of the study. We have to let the study runs it course. and see if tf there is  something  else out there that we're otherwise missing. In a year or so, we'll be well positioned to make a decision about this building."

Tobe points to a new study saying 11,000 manufacturing workers in this area will retire over the next eight years and their replacements will require specialized training.

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.