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Campus West school to leave site at Buffalo State, seek new home

Campus West, the public elementary school on the Buffalo State College campus, is seeking a new home.

Buffalo Public Schools officials say they will try to find an alternative location for the school after the coming school year.

It serves more than 700 students in prekindergarten through eighth grades.

For many years, aspiring teachers at Buffalo State have worked on their own campus with Campus West students to gain experience.

Buffalo School Superintendent James A. Williams and college officials announced at Wednesday's School Board meeting that the lease would expire, but the relationship between Buffalo State and the elementary school would go on.

"The partnership can continue to flourish regardless of the location of the school," Williams said.

Buffalo Public Schools will pay $965,000 next year to lease the 203,000-square-foot Buckham Campus School, which has housed Campus West since 1968.

Williams cited the building's age as a factor in the decision to move out.

College officials also praised the end of the lease agreement.

"We're a landlocked campus," said Lisa H. Krieger, assistant vice president for finance and management. "The Campus West footprint takes up about one-eighth of our campus. The thought of that space being made available to Buffalo State once more was seen as favorable."

But Philip Rumore, president of the Buffalo Teachers Federation, said he would fight the decision as detrimental to the school's students.

"I think this is nothing less than an abandonment of the Buffalo Public School students," he told the board. "We're going to fight this on whatever level we have to. This is not over, as far as the BTF is concerned."

Capital projects totaling $350 million are planned on the college's Elmwood Avenue campus.

They include math and science building expansion and renovations, a new residence hall and technology building, and possibly a new stadium.

College officials have not decided on a use for the building once Campus West leaves. But in the near future, the structure is likely to temporarily house offices and departments displaced by campus construction, Krieger said.

Buffalo State's day care center will remain in the building for at least another year, she said.

The departure of Buffalo Public Schools also will make about 100 parking spaces available for the college, Krieger said.

e-mail: mpasciak@buffnews.com

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