Mount Snow Academy (MSA) is moving into some new digs in West Dover, Vt. this academic year. The former Matterhorn Inn is being converted into the new campus with 15,000 square feet of space for the Vermont academy, giving the student body room to grow.
The school celebrated the official ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 10. The move itself has been in the works for over year now, and students will be starting classes early next month.
“We’re officially moved in,” said Todd Ormiston, MSA‘s head of school. “Because we’re a winter-only ski academy, school doesn’t actually begin until Nov. 7. We’ve been working really hard to transform hotel rooms into dorm rooms and classrooms. But also, we’re doing a significant amount of cosmetic upgrades in terms of updating the dining hall and making a really cool inn in the valley feel like a school.”
The academy is still raising funds to achieve its full vision through its Edge of Evolution campaign, which is seeking $1.5 million in donations.
“The Edge of Evolution campaign has a two-phase process,” Ormiston said. “Phase one is raising a total of $750,000, which we’re over half way to at this point–and that campaign is fully focused on the acquisition of our new property. The second phase will coincide with the anticipated growth to 50-55 students where we’ll, at that point, be adding athletic and additional classroom space.”
The school’s growth has been significant since Ormiston joined the team 18 months ago, going from 24 students last year to over 35 this year and increasing alpine skiing athletes from 7 to 17. The ultimate goal is to double the number of students. The new facility provides ample space for the physical expansion of the school to accommodate a larger population.
“We have four acres and tons of outdoor space for training. And hopefully, we will have a gym and a jumping center one day,” MSA Board Chairman Shawn Byron told the Brattleboro Reformer.
MSA athletes can spend five months out of the year living and training at Mount Snow, and when winter ends, they head back home to their families. It’s a unique academic model that allows students to take the academics from their home schools to Vermont and continue the curriculum throughout the winter through 1-on-1 teaching. It’s a niche the academy embraces and there are no plans currently to expand the academy to a full-year program.
“We’re not necessarily in a place where we’re chasing other academies,” the head of school shared. “We’re really proud of who we are and what we do, and we think Mount Snow Academy will become a stronger player in the New England winter sport scene, and we’re just excited to be in this growth mindset.”