School's In?

Former I.M. Pei–designed IBM campus in Westchester could become boarding school

Former I.M. Pei–designed IBM campus in Westchester could become boarding school. Pictured here: Aerial view of the IBM Somers Office Complex, Somers, New York (Google Earth)

The suburban corporate campus Pei Cobb Freed & Partners designed for computing giant IBM could become a private school focused on science, math, and the arts. The town of Somers, a small municipality in northern Westchester County, recently heard a proposal from a developer who wants to convert about half of the 750-acre campus and all its five buildings into a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) high school for day and boarding students.

Photo of IM Pei's IBM complex in Somers, New York

IBM Somers Office Complex, Somers, New York (Michael Coleman/Flickr)

For-profit developers Evergreen Ridge told the town board that the campus’s 1.2 million square feet would be converted into the school in three phases. Ultimately, the school plans to accommodate around 1,530 boarding and 270 day pupils, for a total of 1,800, reported. Operations would kick off in 2021 with a summer program and the campus would reach full capacity three years later.

Sports fields, a field house, and an arts building would be erected during the second phase of construction.

The Pei Cobb Freed–designed campus, known for its pyramidal, zig-zagging buildings, was erected between 1984 and 1989. At peak occupancy, it hosted about 3,000 workers on the nine-to-five (they even had a song!). In 2016, however, IBM vacated the property and sold it to Sebastian Capital for almost $32 million.

This isn’t the only Pei news to emerge recently: Unless you’re an architecture aficionado who’s elected to live under a rock, you probably know that the Pritzker Prize–winning architect died last month at the age of 102.

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