The state Dormitory Authority has agreed to finance a new $11.4 million Campus School at Wyndham Lawn Home for Children, according to Robert S. Roberson, president of the home's board of trustees.
The home and the school are for children with emotional problems, learning disabilities, or who have been abused. Wyndham Lawn was originally opened as an orphanage in 1871.
Director of Development Paul D. Flach said the Dormitory Authority will issue 20-year bonds that will have to repaid by Wyndham Lawn, primarily through tuition charged to students.
"It is a priority need of Wyndham Lawn to replace the inadequate and unsatisfactory building now used to house the Campus School," Roberson said.
The Campus School is currently housed in a collection of portable buildings erected from 1971 to 1974. "They have outlived their usefulness. They were not designed for the long haul," Flach said.
The board of trustees has yet to decide the fate of the current school buildings. If state Education Department approval of the plans is received soon, construction on the new building would start next spring. Flach said it will take 1 1/2 to two years to build.
The new school will be an E-shaped one-story structure measuring 195 feet along its longest side and 116 feet in the other direction.
The school now has 43 students in grades 3 through 12. Thirty-five of them are Wyndham Lawn residents; the others are commuters.
Flach said the new building will accommodate 70 children, including 25 non-residents. Some may be assigned there by local school districts.
Roberson said Wyndham Lawn, located at 6395 Old Niagara Road, has been working for six years to obtain the necessary bureaucratic approvals for the project.