Construction has been allowed to continue on a new gymnasium for Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart, now that the school is working out a parking plan that will appease the Town of Amherst.
Amherst Building Commissioner Thomas C. Ketchum issued a stop-work order on the $3 million project for four days last week until lifting that order Friday.
“We basically identified a way to handle this whole issue,” Ketchum said Wednesday. “I think this is easily resolvable, and I’m not anticipating a problem going forward.”
The all-girls school on Main Street, near Eggert Road, is building a gym with seating for 500 people, a dance studio and fitness room, but adequate parking has been a sticking point.
Sacred Heart – which has been using the lot at the office building next door – was unable to secure a long-term parking agreement with the adjacent property owner and was sent back to the drawing board to fit 167 spaces onto its own campus.
Ketchum believes the school does have enough land available for the parking and may, in fact, need fewer spaces than anticipated depending on how events and activities at the school are scheduled, he said.
The building commissioner is awaiting a parking study from Sacred Heart to help determine the exact number of spaces the town will require. The school expects to submit a site plan during a special town Planning Board meeting later this month in hopes the project can stay on track for a March completion.
Neighborhood opponents of the project – which abuts property on Crosby Boulevard – are still unhappy with how ambiguous the parking situation is.
“Where are they going to put all these cars?” said Crosby resident Kenneth Tunnah. “There’s no parking on Main. There’s no parking on Eggert, and there’s no parking on Maynard. The only thing available is Crosby. That means you’ll see 300 cars in front of our homes.”