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January 20, 2023
It's been a long time coming, but the transfer of Fosdick Field for use by City Honors School as an athletic field and greenspace is drawing near.
The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority on Thursday said it was finalizing the transfer of 4 acres of land, once used by the Woodson Gardens public housing development, to Buffalo Public Schools.
Adding to the momentum is the Buffalo Common Council's approval to transfer one-block-long Fosdick Avenue, which runs in front of City Honors between Best and East North streets to the school district for $1, following the results of a traffic study the council required first. The BMHA will also transfer the title to two additional parcels that were part of the expansion of the City Honors campus.
"For the neighborhood and the school, this is something that's been dreamed about for years," said William Kresse, City Honor's principal. "We are looking forward to seeing a reunified campus that is open access, so that the school can make use of it during the day and our neighbors can make use of it as a community greenspace at all other hours."
The former Fosdick-Masten H.S. athletic field closed in 1977 and the land was transferred to the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority. The school district, housing authority and City Honors/Fosdick-Masten Park Foundation were in discussions for several years about returning the vacant property to its original use.
The foundation, which began a public campaign to acquire the land in 2011, obtained the land from BMHA in 2016 for $2.05 million, with the intent of constructing a $3.5 million athletic facility that would include an all-weather field, scoreboard, landscaping and walking path around the property.
But the nonprofit couldn’t afford the $2.05 million payment that came due the summer of 2019. The housing agency was preparing to rescind the title when Buffalo Public Schools stepped in to take ownership of the property from the foundation for $1.
“We are very appreciative that Buffalo Public Schools appears willing to step in and acquire the property, and look forward to finalizing the agreement soon," Gillian Brown, the BMHA's executive director, said in a statement.