Neighbors hear plans for former Holy Angels Academy

Buffalo, N.Y. (WIVB) – Students haven’t the halls of the former Holy Angels Academy since the Catholic, all-girls high school closed almost a year ago. But the classrooms will soon be filled once again.

Charter School for Applied Technology – which has strong enrollment, 1,000 students on a waiting list and has boasted a 100 percent graduation rate over the last several years – will move its middle school students, in Grades 6 through 8, into the North Buffalo facility in August.

Neighbors had their first chance to ask questions of the people who are taking over the former Holy Angels Academy on Thursday evening.

During a meeting at St. Rose of Lima School, representatives from the McGuire Group and Charter School for Applied Technology listened to their concerns.

The building can accommodate 500 students, and will likely be filled to capacity. Among the neighbors’ concerns were traffic, bussing, noise and maintenance of the building and grounds.

“Safety, that’s what we want. Mainly the safety, and we just hope that the kids are all well-behaved,” said Frank Palladino, whose property backs up to the school.

Palladino said he came away from Thursday’s discussion with a good feeling.

“I think things will probably work out. They’re willing to work with the residents, and that means a lot.”

“Communication is huge,” said Danielle Shainbrown, Vice-President and Chief Legal Officer for The McGuire Group. “They have some issues; nothing is an unfixable issue. So I feel very confident that we can all get on the same page very quickly.”

McGuire, which bought a 50 percent ownership stake in property last December, is doing some sprucing up both inside and out. Shainbrown is confident another school is a good fit for both the building, and the neighborhood.

“Holy Angels has been around for so long, and so many people are graduates, relatives of graduates. It would break my heart to do anything but educate students in this building,” she said.

For neighbors who missed Thursday’s meeting, there will be another one on Monday, June 23.

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