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Time for repairs, after $1.4 billion in school reconstruction

Burgard constructionIf there's one thing officials in the Buffalo Public Schools have been consistently proud of over the past several years, it's the reconstruction of nearly every school in the district.

Former Superintendent James Williams often said that other cities looked to Buffalo to find out how to pull off similar projects. When he retired in September, in fact, he joked that he "might go into construction" -- to teach other districts how to renovate their buildings like Buffalo did.

Well, apparently the $1.4 billion that taxpayers spent to update the city's schools only takes us so far. The district hasn't even completed construction on all the schools, and already district officials estimate the cost of repairs and maintenance at $200 million.

A report released by the Council of the Great City Schools says that Buffalo schools are in need of $150 million in "renovation, repair and modernization" -- plus another $50 million in deferred maintenance.

(The report surveyed 50 major school systems in the country, giving each one the opportunity to self-report its needs.) 

- Mary Pasciak

facebook.com/mary.pasciak     twitter.com/SchoolZoneBlog    [email protected]

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About School Zone

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee joined The Buffalo News in 2007 and currently covers education and suburban schools. She also writes a column for the City & Region section and previously covered government in Erie County and Niagara Falls. Gee graduated from Boston University with degrees in journalism and political science.

@denisejewellgee | [email protected]


Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes joined The Buffalo News in 2013 and primarily covers the Buffalo Public Schools. She has written about education since 2003 at newspapers in Florida and New York. In 2008, she was a nominated finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Lankes is an Amherst native and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Syracuse University. She started her journalism career writing for the News’ NeXt section.

@TiffanyLankes | [email protected]


Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan has been a cityside reporter for The Buffalo News since 2000 and currently covers the Buffalo Public Schools beat. She previously covered the Williamsville school district and was a full-time education reporter for five years prior to joining The News. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

@BNschoolzone | [email protected]


Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams began working for The Buffalo News in 1999 and currently covers Buffalo Public Schools. She formerly was a suburban reporter on the Northtowns beat and has been a cityside reporter covering communities since 2004. Williams has a mass communications degree from Towson University.

@DeidreWilliamsB | [email protected]

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