THORNWOOD, N.Y. – Both the Town and Education First (EF) International Academy are pleased that Mount Pleasant is the new home for the international boarding school.
“It’s been a real compliment to the community,” said Mount Pleasant Town Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi. “The students have been shopping and eating a lot at our local businesses. Rosehill Shopping Center has seen a little boom in business.”
The EF Academy purchased more than 97 acres of land from the Legionaries of Christ for $17 million and relocated their boarding school from their Tarrytown site to 582 Columbus Ave. in Thornwood. EF opened its doors to students in September.
The property once belonged to IBM Corp. and was known as the “Thornwood Conference Center.”
EF Academy built a new 50,400 sq. ft. building that house 51 classrooms. The boarding school also renovated the 364,000 sq. ft. main building where there are 11 classrooms.
Academy serves students in grades nine through 12. Students graduate with an International Baccalaureate degree.
The 658 students who live on campus just finished their first term and are home for the holidays until they return on Jan. 5.
EF purchased two parcels of the Legionaries of Christ’s property, which is all completely back on the tax rolls since it is no longer granted are granted an educational non-profit exemption.
“We like this location and its accessibility to New York City and also the campus’ trails for the student and physical layout of the campus,” said Brian Mahoney, EF Academy Thornwood’s headmaster. “We are near fine shops, and the building itself plays nicely to the needs of the students.”
Mahoney is a Putnam native who has worked in various positions at the Harvey School in Katonah and Rockland Country Day School. The school is currently discussing partnerships with the Mount Pleasant School District and other community organizations to share their facilities.
“We find it mutually beneficial for Westchester students and EF Academy students to establish relationships and find ways to meet and work with each other,” said Shawna Sullivan Marino, the director of public affairs for EF properties.
“We find it important to create opportunities for our students to establish a relationship with their peers in our host community. We have students from 70 plus countries enrolled and for a 16-year-old going to school at Mount Pleasant might not realize there is a campus full of potential pen pals down the street instead of half a world away.”
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