INHS Named Purchaser of Immaculate Conception School

As the City of Ithaca’s landscape continues to evolve, a new affordable housing project may soon be on the horizon. INHS has been selected by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester as the purchaser of the beloved Immaculate Conception School property, located at 320 West Buffalo Street. The long-running school was closed at the end of the 2016-17 school year due to decreasing enrollment and increasing operating costs.

Pending results from an Environmental Site Assessment, INHS’ intention is to redevelop the property into a vibrant mixed-use community, designed to address high-priority local needs. Plans include affordable rental housing serving a range of household sizes and income levels, restoration of the Convent building for Catholic Charities, and space for nonprofit and community-based organizations that serve children and families.

“We are thrilled to have been selected to reimagine this historical property. The Immaculate Conception School has been an integral part of many people’s memories, and INHS looks forward to honoring that legacy by providing a place where children can grow, families can gather, and community resources are available,” said INHS Executive Director Johanna Anderson. “Our goal is to not only provide safe, high-quality affordable housing and resources to our community, but also highlight the character of the Washington Park Neighborhood.

“The process has just started and we have a long way to go to determine how to best redevelop the property in a way that meets the diverse needs of the neighborhood and city. Our desire is to give the property new life that will be a source of pride to those impacted by the school for years to come,” she continued.

The organization has plans to engage community stakeholders in public meetings to ensure the final design reflects the best use of the property. Schedule of dates for this will be made public in the future.

About INHS
Founded in 1976 as a partnership between residents, funders, and local government, INHS is a nonprofit community development corporation affiliated with NeighborWorks® America. The INHS mission is to help people of modest incomes obtain affordable housing on a long-term basis. INHS is committed to creating energy-efficient housing and sustainable communities that benefit residents of all income levels and occupations. Its service area includes Tompkins County and its six contiguous counties.

Click to read more about INHS’ plans with the former Immaculate Conception School:


Community Engagement Meeting #1:

Wednesday, February 13
5 – 7 p.m.
Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC)
*Meeting was originally scheduled for 2/12 but rescheduled due to weather.


The community is invited to join INHS on February 12 from 5 – 7 p.m. at GIAC to learn more about the upcoming project, and to provide feedback on the site, including community wants and needs. We look forward to seeing you and working together to develop this historical site! 


5 p.m: Site background & history
5:30 p.m.: Presentation of initial concepts
6 p.m.: Community forum

Light refreshments will be served.

For questions, email Justina Fetterly at


Community Engagement Meeting #2:


Thursday, March 28
5 – 7 p.m.
Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC)


Can’t attend the meetings? Send questions and/or feedback about what you’d like to see at the site to Justina Fetterly (