Four offices and programs from the Town of Hamburg will be consolidated in Frontier Central School District’s Learning Center on Southwestern Boulevard early next year.
The search for more space for Hamburg’s Adult Day Care Center led to the decision to consolidate the senior center and the day care center, as well as administrative offices for youth, recreation and senior services, into the 11-year-old building.
“It’s a great opportunity for the town and the school district,” Supervisor Steven Walters said. “There is a building that is taxpayer-funded that is going to continue to operate for the public good.”
Town officials said in February they were looking for more room for the day care center, which is open weekdays for those who need supervision and are unable to attend traditional senior center programs.
Walters said that when Frontier learned Erie 1 BOCES would be leaving its facility at 4540 Southwestern Blvd., it contacted the town.
Hamburg will lease the building for the cost of the bond payment, which is between $50,000 and $55,000 each year, Walters said. The town signed a 10-year lease, with an option to renew it for nine years, he said. The district has 19 years left to pay the bonds.
The day care center will move from its location at 353 Pleasant Ave., where it opened in a former train depot in 1996. The town also will move the senior center, now in a building at 4150 Sowles Road, to the school. The town rents the senior center from Iris Housing for $1 a year. The center has a therapeutic pool, which was paid for with federal Community Development Block Grant funds. Walters said that there had been restrictions put on the funds but that the restrictions have expired and the town is free to move its program.
The town also will move the recreation offices from the former Nike Base on Lakeview Road and the Youth Department from Woodlawn Beach State Park to the Southwestern Boulevard site.
The 40,600-square-foot learning center was built with geothermal heating and cooling systems in 2002. Erie 1 Board of Cooperative Education Services was a major tenant, and the district’s Community Education program operated out of the center. The district also leased space to the Southtown Teachers Association and the town Youth Department.
BOCES announced it would leave the facility at the end of June, which would have left the building nearly empty.
“The district understood we could not allow this wonderful facility to go dark,” Superintendent James Bodziak said.
The town will need to renovate parts of the building, and it expects the senior center to open around Jan. 1, Walters said. The town’s lease will start July 1, and the town will be responsible for the operating costs of the building. He said the move and operations will be performed in a cost-efficient manner, although there may be some increased costs involved.
“The biggest push for the town wasn’t to try and save money in the Senior Services Department,” Walters said. “It was to expand the Senior Services Department. We had two facilities that were getting too small.”