Local leader surveying future of West Seneca Developmental Center property

WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) — If you take a walk down the West Seneca campus, you’ll find walkers, runners and dogs that are all using the property recreationally. It’s almost 440 acres and 71 acres belongs to the Children’s Psychiatric Center.

“I will not support and many of my colleagues will not support the closing of the West Seneca Children’s Psychiatric Center,” said New York State Assemblyman Michael Kearns.

Also on the huge chunk of land is 255 acres of underutilized space, owned by the state, that use to be the West Seneca Developmental Center. The center shut down in 2011.

“We know some of the buildings are in disrepair, there are broken windows. We need to come up with a plan and strategy with the reuse of that property,” said Assemblyman Kearns.

Rather than letting it sit vacant, Kearns is getting public input by handing out survey’s to residents.

“The state has been slow to react on this, I’m being proactive, I’m going to go out to the community and we’re going to ask the community about what they would like to see,” said Kearns.

Kearns says he will go door to door to gather feedback from residents and will take their suggestions to Albany and state officials.

So far, West Seneca residents are in favor of a park.

“I think because it’s a residential area for the most part, I think turning that state land into a park or something the public can be able to use, considering trails for bikes or just walking trails,” said Amy Zawadzki, resident.

“I think it should be park land, they should knock down all those buildings over there and turn it into a park and have things for people to do there,” said Jim Burkett.


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