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City breaks ground on Riverside School #60 renovation project

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Buffalo: City breaks ground on Riverside School #60 renovation project
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A shuttered school in one of Buffalo's historic neighborhoods is getting a new lease on life. The old School Number 60 is being turned into a housing complex with a focus on veterans. YNN's Kevin Jolly talked with residents and officials about the project and the impact it could have on the neighborhood.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown along with city and state officials and developers broke ground Wednesday for the renovation of the old School #60 on Ontario Street in the city's Riverside neighborhood.

"This is a 20 million dollar project. There will be 68 affordable apartments, and there will be a special focus on housing for veterans," said Buffalo mayor Byron Brown.

School #60 has been here in the Riverside Community for more than a hundred years. It also served as the Riverside Academy before it was closed ten years ago.

DePaul Key Housing, based in Rochester, purchased the building for $180,000. The city allocated $1.5 million in HOME funds for the renovation project.

"I want to express my sincere thanks to the stakeholders that make this transformation a reality and who will bring over 350 construction jobs and later over 40 permanent jobs into this community," said Gillian Conde.

But some residents in the neighborhood have mixed reactions to the project. While they applaud the effort to renovate the school, they think more needs to be done to bring their neighborhood back.

"It's be nice to see more economic in the city around here, more people on the street and more business for the stores and stuff," said Mike Fierro.

I feel like they should do something for the kids and the youth that would keep 'em off the streets like a community center for 'em," said Tonia Johnson.

"We're hopeful this might be a community center or something that will benefit the community and not just and isolated group of businessmen from out of town," said Chris Strong.

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