Entering Sugar Bowl Academy's brightly lit, brand new academic building for the beginning of the winter trimester on the morning of December 2 was an almost surreal experience for many of the school's students.
Fresh off its successful $13 million Build Our Future capital campaign, the Dec. 2nd academic building opening marks the first of three buildings being completed in coming months in the Village at Sugar Bowl, as both a co-ed dormitory and joint-use strength and conditioning center will make nearly 31,000 square feet in new construction for the school. The academic building is an eight-classroom (two of which are state-of-the-art science labs) facility designed for 75 student-athletes; the co-ed dormitory will house 33 student-athletes, many of whom attend the school from out of state; and the joint-use strength and conditioning center, the Sporthaus, has been developed in concert with Sugar Bowl Resort.
"It feels like a mansion of a building, because it is so big and spacious compared to what we had before," said sophomore Julia Shray upon entering the new academic building."
"It feels pretty technologically advanced," said sophomore Skyler Mullings. "We have some pretty cool things that we didn't have before: surround sound in the rooms, teachers with microphones, whiteboard walls."
Fifteen years after opening its first campus in a weather-beaten California Department of Highways building at the top of Donner Summit, Sugar Bowl Academy cut the ribbon Monday morning at the entrance to its new academic facility. With the pending addition of a Poma lift from the new campus facilities to Sugar Bowl Resort's Disney lift, the Academy's new classroom and dormitory buildings will effectively make Sugar Bowl Academy the country's only ski-in, ski-out campus.
Speaking at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Head of the Sugar Bowl Ski Team & Academy Tracy Keller put the new campus in historical perspective for the parents, teachers, students, and guests gathered in the parking lot outside of the academic building, located just below Sugar Bowl Resort's West Bay parking area.
"Some of us remember teaching or attending classes in what is now a dorm room, the tuning room, or the gym," said Keller. "The number of places…sometimes odd places, indeed, where we've held classes is so notorious that last year's valedictorian based a pillar of his speech on it. What should be notorious, in my mind, is the grit, grace, and courage our students and staff have exhibited over the past fifteen years as we've grown…making a home for ourselves wherever it needed to be."
"Today, we move into classrooms designed specifically for us -- a home for future generations of Sugar Bowl Academy student-athletes."
Sugar Bowl Academy boasts alumni who've gone on to the U.S. Ski Team and who've been admitted to some of the nation's took colleges and universities --Cornell College, Dartmouth College, Tufts University, Boston College, Middlebury College, the University of Chicago, Bates College, and Hamilton College, to name just a few. To say that the new campus is a major milestone in the Academy's history would be an understatement, as it clearly demonstrates its community's belief in its student-athletes and the school's continually improving programs.
Sugar Bowl Academy educates student-athletes in grades 7-12 who wish to pursue their passion for alpine, Nordic, or freeride skiing in a small college-preparatory teaching and learning community.