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Medaille College signs on to new downtown sports complex

Medaille College on Monday officially confirmed that it will be the anchor tenant of the planned new $4 million athletic complex that is now being developed by developer Jon M. Williams at the former Buffalo Color site on Elk and Lee streets in Buffalo.

The new facility, dubbed the Medaille Sports Complex at Buffalo Color Park, will become the school's home field for practices and competition, primarily for its men's and women's soccer and lacrosse teams.

That meets a critical need for the small school, whose teams currently practice at a public field while playing their games at competitors' facilities because they have nothing of their own.

Medaille has now signed a multiyear lease for the new facility. Terms were not disclosed. The facility will be rented to other school, recreational or league teams when Medaille is not playing.

“Medaille College is excited to be planning a home base for our athletes, particularly in soccer and lacrosse, where they can both practice and host home games,” said Medaille President Kenneth M. Macur. “We are grateful to Jon Williams and his team for their leadership and insight and look forward to a rewarding partnership as we bring this project to fruition.”

Williams' South Buffalo Development is creating the new facility on about six acres of land, with a 26,400-square-foot indoor field house at 427 Elk as well as an outdoor athletic turf field – measuring 300 feet by 300 feet – at 85 Lee. It's aimed at high school, college or adult leagues, with Medaille as the lead occupant.

Plans by architects at Carmina Wood Morris also include offices, classrooms, locker rooms, restrooms, storage space and concessions, as well as a 61-space parking lot, with the capacity to add another 50 spaces if needed.

The project was approved by the Buffalo Planning Board in May, over the objections of a neighboring chemical manufacturer, and site work is already underway. Construction of the indoor facility will begin in the next few weeks, with a goal of first finishing the outdoor field by late September and the indoor complex by early 2019.

Elk Street sports complex approved over neighboring chemical plant's objections

The athletic complex is part of the larger 21.7-acre project at the Schoellkopf Power House, a complex across the street that is being converted into an $8 million mixed-use facility with residential, industrial and commercial space. Williams had purchased the entire site at a tax foreclosure auction in 2009, invested another $3.5 million as part of a $20 million brownfield cleanup led by legacy owner Honeywell, and now plans to move his company's offices there upon completion later this year.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Medaille to present the college’s student athletes with quality facilities in the city of Buffalo, and to return a long-vacant parcel of land in the Elk Street neighborhood to productive use,” said Williams. “This project is indicative of the continued, exciting evolution of Buffalo, especially as the city’s economic renaissance pushes southward from downtown.”

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