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New Cantalician Center opens

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Nearly 60 years after it was formed, the Cantalician Center for Learning has consolidated its operations and moved to a facility designed for the children they serve.

The former St. Barnabas Catholic Church and School in Depew has been transformed into a state-of-the-art academic campus for kids with special needs.

With dozens of students looking on, area elected officials, new Bishop Richard Malone, board members and staff cut the ribbon on phase one of the Cantalician Center's new academic campus on George Urban Boulevard in Depew.

Bishop Malone said it will be memorable for him because in the month he's been in Buffalo it's his first dedication and blessing.

"This is a moment of joy. It's a moment of hope. And a moment, really, that's holy."
Executive Director Terese Scofidio says unlike the old Cantalician Center on Main Street and on Eggert Road the new $16 million campus is ADA accessible.       

"Our students, who are in wheelchairs and have mobility issues, can get to any point on this campus. So they can make it into lunch with other students, which is a far cry now, because in the old buildings they had to go downstairs which meant they weren't going to lunch with their fellow peers," said Scofidio.

"Everything really is designed to meet the needs of the students."
Consolidation is expected to provide nearly $300,000 in cost savings to create new programs for the 330 children from across the region served by the Cantalician Center.