Library brings new promise to Buffalo neighborhood

Aug 31, 2017

The Buffalo Promise Neighborhood has a new library. The facility, fresh from a $500,000 rehab, is located in the Westminster Community Charter School, but is also available for families.

Robert Wilmers, Chairman of M&T Bank, helped to dedicate the new library at Westminster Community Charter School. His bank has contributed millions into developing the school and its neighborhood.
Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO News

"The building symbolizes that promise and that's what the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood is all about," said M&T Bank Chairman Robert Wilmers. His bank's charitable foundation has been a major supporter of the school.

Wilmers lauded the effort of "major people working together in partnership to transform a community through strategies centered on academic achievement and neighborhood revitalization."

Wilmers was among the dignitaries present for Wednesday's dedication of the new library which now offers hundreds of books and dozens of computers to its users, including Westminster's 600 students. The facility also contains what is being called a Parent Achievement Zone.

The school is located on Westminster Avenue, east Of Bailey Avenue.

New computers and a Parent Achievement Zone are part of $500,000 in library improvements at Westminster Community Charter School.
Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown addressed the gathering and spoke of his administration's efforts at rebuilding the surrounding neighborhood.

"Over the past seven years, the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood initiative has been a positive and empowering force in the lives of so many children and families in our city," said Brown, while hailing the city's $50 million investment in the neighborhood during his years in City Hall. 

"With today's announcement of the completion of this renovation of the library, this initiative will bring this 80-year-old structure into the 21st Century."

Buffalo Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash spoke of his "New Education Bargain" and its focus on getting students ready to learn.

"It starts in early childhood education. You gotta learn to read, early. By six-years-old, I want you to know 5,000-6,000 words."

Most of the money for the library renovation came from M&T Bank and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.