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Letter: Project to update schools in city was a huge success

Project to update schools in city was a huge success

In Detroit, angry and concerned teachers called in sick last week to protest the shoddy state of the public school buildings in which they must work and teach children. This same thing could have happened in Buffalo.

Thankfully, Buffalo successfully implemented a school reconstruction program over the last decade that empowers our teachers and students by enabling them to work in state-of-the-art schools. Through special legislation, the $1.5 billion program was completed without costing city taxpayers a dime.

The reconstruction project, a pioneering approach to government procurement, was so successful that other school districts statewide rushed to match Buffalo’s leadership. Completed on budget and on time, the project also led the way in creating opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses and can easily be regarded as one of the first kick-starts of Buffalo’s ensuing renaissance.

Don’t let revisionist critics try to paint this remarkable city-state-private collaboration as anything but the successful project it was. As a result, our students learn in technologically advanced classrooms and labs, and have opportunities to grow their talents in beautiful theaters, gyms and pools.

At the turn of the century and over the next 15 years, Buffalo’s leaders – mayors, school superintendents, School Board members, Common Council members, state legislators – envisioned the future and put Buffalo schools on a track that avoided the issues Detroit now faces.

Florence Johnson