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PUSH Buffalo starts overhaul of former School 77

Chris Caya WBFO News

The reconstruction of the long-vacant Buffalo Public School 77 is underway.

PUSH Buffalo Executive Director Aaron Bartley, elected officials, and others helped formally start the project on Tuesday. Bartley says the building will be a community hub with affordable senior housing.

"Much needed housing on the top two floors and on the first floor, a community center that will include Ujima Theatre, in the former theater space, a youth center, and PUSH's offices and a gymnasium," Bartley said.  

Credit Chris Caya WBFO News
PUSH Buffalo Executive Director Aaron Bartley says School 77 will be a community hub on the city's West Side.

The $15 million project is PUSH's largest to date. It easily won the support of Niagara District Council Member David Rivera.
"There was never any doubt that they had the ability and capacity to do the work. They had demonstrated it over many, many years. Although the project looked huge, we had complete confidence in PUSH to be able to move this forward."

Bartly says during the three year planning process advocates went door to door speaking to residents about the project. He says work should be complete in about 14 months.