A major Chinese investors group is eyeing three sites in the Stony Brook-Smithtown area to create a $20-million educational and cultural center, according to Suffolk economic development officials.

Linda Wong, chairwoman of Yihai Group, inspected sites suggested by county officials and another site in Old Brookville during a two-day visit to the area last month, Suffolk officials said.

Yves R. Michel, Suffolk's economic development commissioner, said the firm wants to create a K-12 "best of breed" school that focuses on Asian-American culture and studies. There would be a total of about 600 students, and the firm wants a site of at least 10 acres for town house development, dormitories and a senior community. Michel said Yihai is attracted by the area's growing Asian population, particularly those who work at Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory.

County officials say Yihai officials have set no deadline for deciding on a site or when to start construction. According to its website, Yihai has six schools in the Beijing area with more than 4,000 students and is planning a college in Hainan province.

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