Syracuse Needs a STEAM School, but Funding Is a Question

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo expressed concern over the funding for a proposed science, tech, engineering, arts and math school that could cost an estimated $75 million, with the state covering up to 98 percent of the cost.

by Rick Moriarty, Syracuse Media Group / November 13, 2019

(TNS) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he wants to know where the money for a proposed Syracuse school focused on science, technology, engineering, arts and math will come from before he signs legislation authorizing its creation.

“Like anything else, it’s the question of funding,” he said during a stop in Syracuse Tuesday. "We have to find the funding, and that’s what I’m working on.”

In June, the Assembly and Senate approved the city’s plan to establish the state’s first regional STEAM high school, sending the bill to Cuomo’s desk for his signature. But that’s where the bill remains.

Cuomo said he likes the concept for the school but will not sign the legislation until details of its funding are cleared up.

“I think it’s a great idea,” he said. “I support it. And by the way, it fits into everything we’re talking about here, this new economy, the new technology, the Genius (NY) award.”

The school is a centerpiece of Mayor Ben Walsh’s Syracuse Surge development plan for the city. It would be established in the long-vacant former Central High School building at the southeast corner of South Warren and East Adams streets.

Rick Moriarty | rmoriarty@syracu

Syracuse Central High School opened in 1903 at South Warren and East Adams streets. It closed in 1975. (Rick Moriarty |

The school would be open to students from school districts across Onondaga County to study science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM).

Under the legislation approved by lawmakers, the state would pay up to 98 percent of the estimated $75 million cost to renovate the building, which has not been used as a school since 1975.

©2019 Syracuse Media Group, N.Y. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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