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Builders Complete $22M Expansion At Thornwood School In Record Time

Scully Construction of White Plains used an innovative design technique  to complete this $22 million residence at the  EF International Academy in Thornwood in time for the fall semester.
Scully Construction of White Plains used an innovative design technique to complete this $22 million residence at the EF International Academy in Thornwood in time for the fall semester. Photo Credit: Provided

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. -- A White Plains-based company is crediting an innovative design technique for its being able to build a dormitory at a private boarding school in Mount Pleasant in record time.

Scully Construction LLC said it had a very tight deadline for the $22 million expansion project -- a 250-bed student residence -- at the EF International Academy in the hamlet of Thornwood.

“With groundbreaking in January, we were facing a compressed timetable to complete the project and be ready for the start of a new semester,” said Brian Keating co-owner of the 35-year-old construction company.

Adding to the pressure was the fact that the high-profile residence “would help showcase the client’s newest campus,” he said.

The 55,000-square-foot, “state-of-the-art” building is now open on the school’s 97-acre campus.

The site once held a 410,000-square-foot corporate conference center was had belonged to IBM.

The four-story joins two buildings at 582 Columbus Ave. that the school bought from the Legion of Christ, a Catholic congregation of pontifical right, made up of seminarians and priests.

The academy's main campus is located in Tarrytown, the former campus of Marymount College. It expanded to Thornwood in 2014. It offers classes for grades 9 to 12 and has 800 students from 75 different countries and 102 faculty and staff members, according to its website.

“With so much at stake for this prestigious client, we needed to factor in some cushion to assure that not only would we fulfill the client’s and architect’s vision but to allow enough time for the 250 rooms to be properly furnished before the students arrived,” Keating said.

The Scully team worked closely with Allied Works Architecture and the school to come up with an “innovative design solution” that shaved several months from the schedule, Keating said.

Structural steel framing was used with “pre-stressed concrete plank” for the floors and roof. Pre-cast four-story tall architectural panels were used to create the building’s “massive and distinctively designed façade,” he explained

The pre-cast concrete parts of the building were made while the construction crew built the dorm’s foundations and erected the steel structure.

The resulting building “lived up to the Swiss-based EF’s reputation as a world-class educational institution,” Keating said.

Scully had also been hired to “repurpose” IBM’s former conference center into classrooms, administrative offices and dorm rooms. That project cost $27 million and took four months to complete, Keating said.

For more information about the EF International Academy, click here.

For more information about Scully Construction LLC, click here.

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