Savarino Companies

Work Starting on New Educational Opportunity Center

Buffalo Rising


The Educational Opportunity Center (EOC), the University at Buffalo's foremost facility for training urban community members for jobs and preparing them for higher education, will break ground for its new $46 million home in downtown Buffalo at 1:30 p.m. this afternoon.  It is being constructed on a surface parking lot fronting Ellicott Street near the corner of Goodell.

The EOC with the Downtown Gateway Building (former M. Wile building), will form UB's Downtown Gateway Complex, a cornerstone of UB's downtown campus and a resource that will expand university access for people in the community, regardless of income and education.

The EOC building will replace its current location at 465 Washington Street and allow the EOC to significantly expand its services, which include programming in remedial and academic preparation, as well as specific job training programs in allied health, life sciences, information technology and environmental industries.  Currently more than 2,000 people take part in UB's EOC services annually.

Savarino Co. has been awarded the contract to build the 68,000 sq.ft. facility.  The adjacent M. Wile building will be renovated and connected to the new building by a 4,900-square-foot glass atrium. 

Designed by Holt Architects of Ithaca under the oversight of the State University Construction Fund, the new EOC building will be constructed primarily of environmentally friendly, durable fiber cement panels and glass.  The design will feature large window frames and open stairways that bring natural light into the building, and offer faculty, staff and students dynamic views of the city.

The first floor of the EOC will contain a conference center, enrollment management suite, career services suite and support spaces, in addition to a Head Start program, which will have an independent entrance and an enclosed outdoor playground.

Classrooms, faculty and administrative offices, a computer lab, library, "information commons" and student and faculty lounges will be located on the top three floors.

The building will be LEED certified in keeping with the goals of the UB 2020 strategic plan's focus on making the University's three campuses great places to live, work and learn, in part by improving their environmental sustainability.

Construction is slated to be completed in 2012.


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