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A higher-education debt collection agency from the Rochester suburbs is doubling its space in Western New York, signing a lease for 25,000 square feet in the AppleTree Business Park in Cheektowaga.

Fairport-based Continental Service Group Inc., or ConServe, currently occupies 12,000 square feet of space at the Walden Business Center on Walden Avenue in Lancaster. The firm, which signed a 10-year lease, plans to take occupancy of its new space by Sept. 1, according to McGuire Development Co., which handles leasing for AppleTree.

The new lease comes as the firm also expands in Fairport, where it employs 500 in 54,000 square feet of space but needs more room because of expected new hires and anticipated future growth. The firm also does work for the New York State Higher Education Services Corp.

“This is an exciting time for ConServe,” ConServe Chief Financial Officer Richard Klein said in a May 20 news release about the Fairport expansion. “The company is rapidly growing, and our goal is to double the size of our staff over the next several years.”

Founded in 1985, ConServe specializes in colleges and universities, government and commercial debt collections. The firm was ranked as the top-performing small collection agency on the U.S. Department of Education’s contract for student loan collections from 2004 to 2010 and received a new long-term contract from the federal agency in 2009.

It’s also been listed among Inc. magazine’s 5,000 fastest-growing companies and has received accolades in the Rochester area for quality control and as a place to work.

email: jepstein@buffnews.com