High school students at Western New York Maritime Charter School will get a new home alongside the middle school in South Buffalo after the Buffalo Planning Board Monday night approved a major expansion of the school's new building.
The nautically themed school is working with Ellicott Development Co. to build a three-story classroom building and athletic facility on the 6.8-acre site at 102 Buffum St. as an addition to the existing 50,000-square-foot former Public School No. 70.
The $13 million project would address a need for more space, and for newer facilities, by creating a two-story, 24,050-square-foot athletic facility, with three full-size basketball courts, a gun range and locker rooms. That would be followed by a new 64,913-square-foot three-story high school, with classrooms, lecture halls, offices and other space.
The gym is expected to be completed by next winter, while the classroom building would be ready by April 2020.
The school opened in September 2004 as a high school and is highly rated among charter schools in the area, with a consistent graduation rate of more than 90 percent of its students in the last five years. It added a seventh and eighth grade two years ago, and then bought the two-story brick building on Buffum Street a year ago before moving its middle school there last fall.
The move would bring 450 middle and high school students back together with nearly 75 faculty and staff from the school's current site at 266 Genesee St.