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Mayor Brown Announces New Johnnie B. Wiley Sports Complex Board
Contact: Peter K. Cutler
Reconstituted Group Includes Representatives of Local Community, Buffalo Public Schools, Development Community, Social Service Providers and Local Professional Sports Organizations
Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced the formation a new board comprised of representatives of the local community, Buffalo Public Schools, the city’s development community, social service providers and local professional sports organizations that will participate in the continuing process of the restoration of the Johnnie B. Wiley Sports Complex and future planning for long-term athletic and social activities at the facility.
According to Section 18-39 of the City Charter, the Mayor appoints board members to what is formally known as the Board of Johnnie B. Wiley Stadium.
While the facility falls within the purview of the county under the existing city/county parks agreement, the school district has long managed the facility and undertook the process of a condition survey of the facility by DiDonato Associates, which led to the issuance of construction-related Requests for Proposals. On June 10th, the Board of Education approved construction contracts totaling $1,967,309 for the planned restoration of the Eastside-based sports complex that will include: new artificial turf and synthetic surfacing, site drainage, new lighting, scoreboards and equipment for the facility’s football, soccer and baseball fields, as well as its track. In addition, new locker room and toilet facilities will be constructed in the facility’s maintenance/storage building.
“Now that the Board of Education has approved the construction contracts for the planned restoration of the Johnnie B. Wiley Sports Complex, which they manage, I wanted to reform the board that will work in close collaboration with the Buffalo Public Schools and the city during the restoration of this important athletic facility and beyond,’ said Mayor Brown. “It’s important that the local community has a voice in the restoration process and it’s also important that representatives from other important constituencies are involved, both now and following the restoration process. The Johnnie B. Wiley Sports Complex is an important facility for our city youth who need these types of facilities to pursue their athletic dreams in the appropriate setting.”
While the contract process still requires the approval of the Control Board, Mayor Brown wanted to reform the board for the Johnnie B. Wiley Sports Complex so the group would be ready to go during this important phase of the facility’s pending upgrades.
“The community has long awaited this day and recognizing the fundamentals needed to become a superior athlete, this Board comprises itself of representatives whom will help out amateur athletes achieve their goals,” said Ellicott District Councilmember Brian C. Davis.
“The city’s investment in Johnnie B. Wiley Stadium will benefit residents throughout the city,” said Masten District Councilmember Demone A. Smith. “By establishing a board of diverse community members, concerns and needs of all residents will be considered, and this stadium will once again be a strong asset to Buffalo’s athletic programs.”
The reconstitute board includes: Otis T. Barker, Sr., Director, Division for Youth, City of Buffalo; Dave Thomas, Director, Physical Education and Athletics, Buffalo Public Schools; Aubrey Lloyd, Superintendent, Physical Education and Athletics, Buffalo Public Schools; Cedric Holloway; Danielle Judge-Johnson, Boys & Girls Club of Buffalo; Thurman Thomas, former Buffalo Bill and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame; Mike Buczkowski, Vice President/General Manager, Buffalo Bisons; Dorothy Hill; Kenny Simmons; Brett Benderson, Vice president, Benderson Development; Kenny Whigham; and Joanne Wiley.
The City of Buffalo has held $2 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the restoration of the facility until the school district finalized plans for the actual restoration work.
In addition to these capital improvements, the city’s Department of Public Works will begin improvements to the facility’s tower building, issuing renovation construction bids on July 1st with the anticipation of work to begin by August 1st and conclude by September 1st. This work will focus on making the tower’s first floor functional for community meetings and other activities. Mayor Brown will ask the new board to provide input on future planned uses and renovations of this building. To date, Public Works has sealed broken windows in the building and cleaned the building’s second floor of refuse and bird droppings.
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Photos by Angel Art LTP, compliments of the Greater Buffalo Convention and Visitors Bureau. Additional photos by Adrian Roselli, compliments of Algonquin Studios