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DEMOLITION AT ROYCROFT SITE FACES HURDLES

A fire-ravaged building on the historic Roycroft Campus in East Aurora won't be demolished anytime soon.

The East Aurora Village Board on Monday night told residents and members of the Roycroft Campus arts movement that demolition of the building, which burned late last winter, faces several hurdles.

Mayor John V. Pagliaccio said the Village Board has to go through several steps, including a state environmental study.

He said this process could take at least six weeks. Pagliaccio said the demolition plan then would be referred to the Village Planning Board.

One agency possibly interested in preserving the building is the state Office of Historic Preservation, according to Robert Ruft, chief executive officer of the Roycroft Shop.

The Roycroft campus, including the burned-out shell of the building at 39 S. Grove St., is listed on the Natural Historic Registry. Therefore, the building could be subject to historical-preservation efforts, Ruft said.

Last week, building owner Ronne Kobis applied for a demolition permit, nearly eight months after the February fire, which was triggered by a short-circuit.

Ruft said that during his visit to East Aurora and the Roycroft Inn last weekend, U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., saw the building from across the street and asked what was being done to preserve it.

Ruft has asked the Village Board to hold a public hearing if and when the time comes to raze the building.

Code Enforcement Officer W. Ross Harbison said it would be up to Kobis to prepare a long-form state environmental study and that a public hearing could not be held before the environmental study process is completed.

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