Academy Place

Gowanda, New York

Academy Place, located along the Cattaraugus Creek in Gowanda, New York, recently underwent extensive renovations to transform the vacant Center Street Elementary School into a vibrant, multi-faceted community facility. Resources now offered in this three-floor, 77,000 square foot adaptive conversion include: 32 units of affordable senior housing, a space for both small businesses and health/human service providers, educational and community programming areas, and a congregate senior dining site. Academy Place was originally proposed by community leaders and is now operated by the Healthy Community Alliance of Gowanda.

Sienna Environmental Technologies, LLC worked with Community Place, LLC to provide environmental services at Academy Place Apartments from 2008 through 2011. Sienna's extensive scope of work on this strategic initiative included:

·     Hazardous materials inspections for asbestos, lead-based paint and mold

·     Lead-based paint clearance testing

·     Abatement project design

·     Radon testing

This rehabilitation project was ultimately awarded a 2011 Buffalo Business First Brick by Brick Award for Green Rehab of an Existing Building. Academy Place also earned the Energy Star rating from NYSERDA and was selected to receive a public grant for the installation of a 10 kW photovoltaic solar panel system to reduce electric consumption. 

The cost for renovations at Academy Place was $11.5 million. This adaptive reuse was funded through the United States Department of Housing and Development, New York State Low Income Housing tax credits, Univera Healthcare, and the Village of Gowanda. Other design and construction experts involved in the project were BHNT Architects and Savarino Construction Corporation.