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Former IBM Campus In Somers Could Become Private High School For 1,800 Students

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IBM Photo Credit: File photo

The owners of the former IBM property have begun the process of getting approval from the town for their plan to renovate the behemoth building into a STEM academy boarding school for up to 1,800 students.

The academy, which has yet to be named, plans to open off of Route 100 in 2020 --starting with ninth and 10th grades.

Evergreen Ridge, a recently formed school campus development company, gave an informal presentation before the Somers Town Board on Thursday, Sept. 20 to share its preliminary plans to the 723-acre office park into a world -class STEM, arts and design boarding and day‐school academy.

About 85 percent of the eventual 1,800 students are expected to live on campus, according to Tim DiScipio, the head of Evergreen Ridge LLC, the project's developer.

The focus on STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—is the selling point for what would eventually be a ninth through 12th grade private school for all genders at a tuition of $49,000 per year for borders, and $37,000 per year for day students.

Sebastian Capital -- which also owns the former PepsiCo building -- is the landlord.

The building would remain the same on the outside, but the inside— comprised of offices and conference rooms—would be gutted for dormitories, classrooms, and technology labs, bringing together Pei Partnership Architects; KG+D Architects; Kimley Horn, planning and design engineering consultants; real estate firm Avison Young; Insite Engineering, Surveying and Landscape Architecture; and Evans Associates Environmental.

The school would get its financing from Tyton Partners and has two law firm s -- Bleakley Platt & Schmidt, and DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise & Wiederkehr -- representing it.

There is currently parking for 3,200 vehicles on the property. The school would only need about 600 spaces, so blacktop on the unused parked lots could be converted into athletic fields, tennis courts, a residence for the head of school and other green space, the developers said.

The IBM offices, five interconnected high-tech buildings, encompass 1.2 million square feet.

More details, including environmental and traffic impact and proposed zoning changes likely be presented to the Somers Planning Board next month.

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