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West Buffalo Charter School plans second expansion

West Buffalo Charter School plans to construct a $4.5 million addition on its Lafayette Avenue building to accommodate the school's plans to add three more grades in the next few years.

The addition, totaling 12,409 square feet, would include a three-story gym, a four-story area with classrooms and offices, and a one-story link to the current building at 113 Lafayette Ave.

West Buffalo Charter, which opened in August 2012 at the former Lafayette Hospital, started with kindergarten through second grade, and then expanded to fourth grade. Now, it plans to add fifth through eighth grade classes in response to increased demand.

[Related: West Buffalo Charter adding grades in $6 to $7 million expansion]

The school, which had 300 students last year and a waiting list at each grade level, grew to 350 students in September, and will add 50 students per year before reaching 500. Classes for kindergarten through fourth grade are capped at 20 students per class, with 60 students per grade, while the middle school grades will each have two classes of 25 students, for a total of 50 students per grade.

Plans by Studio T3 Engineering also call for new parking, green space and a play area.

The school, which is surrounded by houses and a three-story apartment building, is already building a two-story addition to hold eight classrooms. That $1.8 million addition, announced last year and under construction, will total 12,600 square feet when completed and will include teaching space for the cramped fourth and fifth grades, as well as temporary space for new sixth grade students who will begin in September.

The newest expansion, expected to be completed by August 2018, will provide permanent classrooms for the sixth through eighth grades.

West Buffalo Charter is seeking a variance for height from the Zoning Board of Appeals, as well as Planning Board approval for its project. Both boards meet next week.

The Planning Board, which will meet Monday evening, will also consider formal proposals for two previously announced projects on the East Side and in South Buffalo. Both were reported by The Buffalo News when they were unveiled last year.

  • Developers Nick Sinatra and David Pawlik have teamed up with the social services nonprofit People Inc. on a $20 million project at 1160 Jefferson Ave., featuring two three-story mixed-use buildings with 84 apartments and first-floor commercial space.
  • Jake Schneider's Schneider Development plans to spend $9 million to renovate a 48,000-square-foot building at 2178 Seneca St. that had been part of the former Shea's Seneca Theatre. Plans call for 25 apartments, special-event and banquet space, first-floor storefront and retail space, and a 130-seat theater and classroom space for the Second Generation Theatre Company, a local nonprofit.

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