IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

New York State Breaks Ground on STEAM School in Syracuse

Gov. Kathy Hochul and Micron Technology pledged more than $70 million to renovate a high school building in downtown Syracuse that has been closed for nearly 50 years. Classes are expected to begin in 2025.

A concept image of a science lab in the planned Syracuse STEAM High School.
An artist’s rendering depicts a science lab in the planned Syracuse STEAM High School.
Image courtesy of Syracuse City School District
The first modern-era technical high school in the Central New York region is on track to open by 2025, officials announced this week.

During a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday in front of the former Central Tech High School building in downtown Syracuse, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and other state and local officials reaffirmed a $71 million state commitment for the future Syracuse Science, Technology, Arts and Math High School. They also said the state and Micron Technology, the computer chip company building a $100 billion manufacturing facility in Clay, collectively committed $4 million to start an advanced technology program to help all districts across the state establish a curriculum in semiconductors and high-tech manufacturing, according to a Dec. 7 news release.

Unlike the last generation of technical schools, which focused on traditional trades and vocational training, modern STEM and STEAM programs are more centered on math and science instruction combined with hands-on learning experiences that prepare students to be future-ready in fields like engineering, computer science, robotics, data analytics or artificial intelligence.

“Through the investments we’re making in Central New York, we’re expanding educational opportunities for students while ensuring the region is ready to welcome the jobs and opportunity coming through Micron’s transformative project,” Gov. Hochul said in a public statement. “By investing in high-tech education and advanced manufacturing, we can ensure the next generation of New Yorkers is prepared to fill the jobs of the future. We’re committed to building a global chip-making hub right here in New York.”

The announcement coincides with Micron Technology’s commitment to build a massive computer chip plant in neighboring Clay, a $100 billion investment that is expected to eventually create up to 50,000 jobs in the region. The company is working with public high schools and colleges in the area to establish a talent pipeline for the semiconductor industry.

For Syracuse-area schools alone, Micron last year committed to spending $10 million over 10 years on K-12 STEM programs as part of a community investment plan with Empire State Development. Micron also previously committed $15 million for a cleanroom simulation lab at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse.

“STEAM programs and strategic industry partnerships are the catalysts for propelling education toward innovation. By bridging the gap between academia and industry needs with programs like those that will be offered at the Syracuse STEAM High School, we can cultivate a workforce equipped with the skills necessary to drive economic growth and technological advancement,” New York State Education Commissioner Betty Rosa said in a public statement.

According to the Onondaga Historical Association website, the Syracuse Central Tech High School building was constructed in 1903 and closed in 1975. In March 2022, the Syracuse City Council and Onondaga County Legislature agreed in theory to transfer ownership of the property from the city to the county under a plan where the city will lease it for 15 years if the state covers construction and renovation costs.