Expansion of new Tapestry Charter School elementary school building underway

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Students cheered as a final steel beam with their signatures on it was installed in what will soon become their brand new school building.

“We’re expanding our population that’s the reason why we’re needing this new school. We’re growing, we have 892 students right now in 4 years we’ll have just shy of 1,100,” said Eric Klapper, Tapestry Executive Director.

The brand new Tapestry Charter k-5 Elementary school building is adjacent to it’s current campus at Great Arrow avenue.

“We’re going to be increasing an additional kindergarten class and that will allow us to reduce our class size to a 10 to 1 student to teacher, certified teacher ratio,” said Klapper.

The new school costs more than $17 million dollars and officials say it’s being paid for with a 35 year bond. Though the school expansion project is well underway, Tapestry Executive Director Eric Klapper says facility funding is a challenge.

“We receive 60 cents on the dollar for every student that comes into our doors rather than across the street at a district school. That really impedes the programs success in a lot of different ways,” said Klapper.

Last year Tapestry officials planned on moving the school to the former Buffalo Public School 78 on Olympic avenue but many parents weren’t happy with the decision. However those plans never panned out.

Construction of the brand new Tapestry Charter k-5 elementary school building is expected to be completed by August.

More background information:

Tapestry Charter School, an arts-integrated, tuition free, K-12 public charter school, currently occupies one school building at 65 Great Arrow Avenue that will continue to serve grades six through 12. The new Tapestry elementary school, which will be located adjacent to the current building at 111 Great Arrow Avenue, will serve grades kindergarten through fifth. The site will include classrooms, offices, a full-sized gymnasium, cafeteria, a laboratory for science, technology, engineering, arts and math, as well as classrooms designed for performing arts. The outdoor space will include both a playground and multi-use athletic facility.

The estimated cost for the construction project is $16M, plus $1.2M for the outdoor multi-sport athletic field. With the help of tax-exempt bond financing through Buffalo and Erie County Industrial Land Development Corporation, Tapestry Charter School officially closed the $17.2M deal on August 3, 2017. In addition to the new school facilities, Tapestry plans to refinance its current capital debt of $12.2M on its existing school facilities and property with bond proceeds.

Tapestry is working with architects at Trautman Associates, owner representation from McGuire Development and construction management from R&P Oak Hill. The project is expected to be completed by August 2018.

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