STEM center should be near Medical Campus

The decision of the county to move forward with its plan to fund the expansion of Erie Community College North Campus in light of Buffalo’s offer to use casino revenue to build ECC’s STEM facility at the City Campus is appalling. The county should want to be fiscally responsible, and save tax dollars whenever possible. The News reported that the GOP blocked the chance for the county to revisit its commitment to invest $7.5 million tax revenue in the STEM facility at the North Campus.

The likelihood of a new stand-alone STEM facility at the older North Campus having the same appeal as a state-of-the-art facility integrated into the bustling Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, where post-graduation opportunities are plentiful, is hard to imagine, but that seems to be what Erie County and ECC are banking on. However, if ECC were to locate its STEM facility in an accessible environment with growing opportunities for advanced research, internships and potential long-term employment, it would be a more attractive option for students choosing a college. This is the answer ECC has been looking for in its efforts to save county taxpayers money for chargebacks; which happen when Erie County students disproportionately study outside of the county. By realigning our investment today, we can save on the necessary future investments at ECC North.

Erie County and ECC have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to work with the City of Buffalo in an effort to save regional assets, invest in our community’s future and build on our strengths. By providing accessible, world-class education for every Western New Yorker, we will only strengthen our region for generations to come.

Jason Kulaszewski

Young Citizens for ECC