“Planning Board Signs on for Canisius Plan”

Canisius High School received unanimous approval Tuesday from the Buffalo Planning Board for a proposed $14 million expansion.

The plan calls for the demolition of Frauenheim Hall, which will be replaced by a 26,000-square-foot fieldhouse and a 27,000-square-foot to the Beecher Classroom wing for additional math and science classrooms. The planning board approval was the last one needed by Canisius before construction can begin.

The project, along with a new athletic field complex in West Seneca, are part of a $25 million capital improvement program by Canisius. The two developments will be reviewed Dec. 10 by the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, which is considering an inducement package for the projects.

“We’ve been an anchor for the (Delaware) neighborhood and this just reinforces our commitment to the city,” said Rev. James Higgins, Canisius High School president. “We’re calling this the ‘Third Spring of Canisius.'”

Canisius is partnering with Uniland Development Co. and the Buffalo architectural firm of Hamilton Houston & Lownie on the project. The two companies are also jointly working on the proposed 23-story condominium tower planned for the former Park Lane restaurant site, just down the street from the private high school.

Canisius has been working on the project for more than one year including a series of meetings with its immediate neighbors, who are supportive.

“Canisius is a stabilizing force on the West Side, just like Canisius College is a stabilizing force on the East Side,” said James McHugh, a West Ferry Street neighbor of the high school.

The 130-year-old Canisius has 820 students.

“All we are trying to do is enhance what’s already there,” Higgins said.

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