The Northern Westchester Examiner

School for Autistic Youth Proposed to Replace Phoenix House in Shrub Oak

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Plans for a school for autistic youth and adults on the grounds of the former Phoenix House on Stoney Street in Shrub Oak were presented to the Yorktown Planning Board last week.

The Shrub Oak International School, which once fully operational hopes to serve up to 300 individuals, ages 14 to 30, is looking to open in September 2018. A public informational meeting is being discussed for the near future.

The project requires a special permit since it’s a private school and site plan approval from the planning board. The school will be staffed 24 hours a day with approximately 60 workers at night and 150 during the day.

The 130-acre campus, which will be put back on the tax rolls, was originally utilized by the Archdiocese of New York as a teaching seminary for hundreds of students. The first Phoenix House Academy, which provides residential and outpatient programs for adults and adolescents with drug and behavior problems, moved to the site in 1983 after facing some public backlash.

The Phoenix House vacated the property in June 2015, citing a change with fewer teens being sent to residential treatment centers.

According to its website, the annual tuition for the day program at the Shrub Oak International School is $145,000, while the residential program costs $300,000.

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