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Construction to start this summer for Syracuse STEAM school

Ellen Abbott
WRVO News (file photo)
The former Central High School in Syracuse will be converted into a STEAM school starting this summer

Construction is expected to start this June for central New York’s firstSTEAM high school.

The new school will focus on offering classes in the science, technology, engineering, arts, and math fields. Executive Director and Planning STEAM Principal Jody Manning said he wants to create an “employability incubator.”

"(Students) will have authentic, project-based learning experiences, authentic labs. They'll have internships in the community, and they can lead to an endorsed CTE certificate," said Manning.

The school will be built at the old Central Tech High School on S. Warren St. in Syracuse and will integrate skill-based classes right into the everyday curriculum, everything from robotics and construction management to entertainment engineering and performing arts.

More than 50 companies say they’re interested in becoming involved in some way.

Jeremy Belfield, Superintendent at Lafayette Central School District, said it opens up incredible opportunities, not just for students in Syracuse, but in more rural districts as well.

"We want to make this school a hub for the central New York region, for the great opportunities that exist, but also beyond as well,” he said.

The goal is to have 1,000 students in the school, 60 percent from the Syracuse City School District and 40 percent from surrounding areas as part of a partnership with OCM BOCES.

Syracuse Schools Superintendent Anthony Davis said part of the admissions process will be an interview. He said recruiters will be looking for students who are passionate, and he wants to make sure the new school represents the whole community.

"It's not just simply based on grades and what you've already done,” he said. “It's more based on, 'Where do you want to go, and how can we help you get there?' and 'Is this the right place to do that?'"

The STEAM school is expected to welcome its first students in the fall of 2025.

Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.