Hispanics United of Buffalo has decided to find an alternative location for its methadone, or drug-treatment, clinic the city of Dunkirk announced Wednesday.
The group had been in the process of closing the deal on the 3rd Street location, just steps away from Northern Chautauqua Catholic School.
"I'm very pleased and thankful to the providers for listening to the concerns that have been brought up,” said Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas. He’s looking forward to working with the organization and having them become “a good neighbor and a good partner in our community."
City development leaders will now work with Hispanics United of Buffalo to find a more suitable location within the city.
"These services are definitely needed here in our city,” Rosas said. “We're grateful to them that they're still willing to work with us to bring these services here to the city of Dunkirk."
Northern Chautauqua Catholic leaders had expressed concern that the clinic's proposed location was less than 200 feet away from the school.
Jenny Tilaro, the school’s principal, says she’s "Extremely relieved because a lot of our parents have stated that they were going to withdraw out of our school if the methadone clinic was there."
But the school still faces low enrollment and has only raised 20 percent of its $100,000 fundraising goal.
With their August 1 deadline approaching, school leaders remain hopeful they'll now raise more funds and dismiss the idea of moving.
"I know that people will want to donate more money, if they know that we are going to stay here,” Tilaro said. “We are going to fight the fight. And now we can just focus on one issue instead of two."
During a parent meeting at the school Tuesday, the Diocese of Buffalo pledged to support the school and its fundraising efforts.
In a statement, the Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese said “My goal is to see that this school does not close. We are doing everything we can to make sure it stays open and I am optimistic that it will open in the fall."