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Pat Burke: Stop ECC North Expansion


Following up on an issue he made central to his campaign last fall, new Erie County Legislator Pat Burke submitted a resolution this week calling for a hold on Erie County’s $7.5 million investment into the proposed new STEM building at ECC North Campus.

“I have a responsibility to the taxpayers of Erie County to ensure that we’re not doubling down on yet another historic mistake,” Burke said in a press release.

The resolution further calls on Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw to investigate the real costs of the recommendations made by the “ECC: Program Needs Analysis and Space Utilization Assessment,” a report commissioned by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz that proponents of locating a new building at ECC’s downtown Buffalo campus regard as “deeply flawed,” in Burke’s words.

Burke continued:

The report concluded that City campus was unusable as a STEM building site because property would need to be purchased at a cost of $2 million to the County.

However, the report seemed to ignore two large County owned properties one block from ECC City Campus at 100 North Division Street and 45 Oak Street that could act as sites for the proposed STEM building. The report admits that the student programming of the STEM building will be related to medical fields, but ignores value created for students by placing it near the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus where students could benefit from internships and jobs in their field of study.

Former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra has been a vocal critic of the plan to invest in a new building at ECC’s North Campus, which Poloncarz inherited former Erie County Executive Chris Collins. Giambra, who advocates for consolidation of all three ECC campuses into one downtown campus, has retained an attorney, Richard Berger, to research a lawsuit to prevent the construction of the proposed building at ECC North.

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