About CVA


    • About CVA > History

      History_Crop to show school

helping racers and freestylers sharpen their skills

Carrabassett Valley Academy is the offshoot of the Sugarloaf Regional Ski Educational Foundation (SRSEF), which began operations in 1969 to help racers and freestylers sharpen their skills for competitive skiing.

While the tutorial program was successful, members of the SRSEF and others soon became interested in establishing a ski academy at Sugarloaf in order to allow young athletes to stay in the Western Mountains of Maine rather than attend ski academies out of state.

developing equally the body, mind, and spirit

CVA's charge was to develop a school for student-athletes based on the Greek ideal of developing equally the body, mind, and spirit. With its initial 15 students, the program was designed to provide young athletes with a high quality college-preparatory academic program while allowing for and emphasizing time on the mountain.

In the winter of 1982-1983, spurred by visionary H. King Cummings and other enthusiastic pioneers, Carrabassett Valley Academy opened its doors for the first time as a five-month, winter-term tutorial program.

The following year CVA relocated to the former Capricorn Lodge as a full-time ski academy and college preparatory program.
1997: Carrabassett Valley Academy expanded by purchasing the Lumberjack Lodge for additional dormitory space.

2001: The $1.2 million Anti-Gravity Center physical training facility, jointly financed by the town and Carrabassett Valley Academy, officially opened in February. The 20,000-square-foot complex, with a climbing wall designed by Clem Begin and built on land donated by American Skiing, featured a gymnasium, skate park and locker rooms. “The facility caters to a wide demographic and athletic background,” CVA spokesman Rodney Corey told the Morning Sentinel.

2002: On the 20th anniversary of its founding, Carrabassett Valley Academy announced plans to build a new and larger campus on 22 acres adjacent to its current location, where the school was already constructing a soccer field and track complex. Even though the new buildings would have allowed CVA, which serves students from eighth grade through a postgraduate year, to expand its enrollment from 115 to 150, Headmaster John Ritzo said any growth would be done slowly. “We don’t want to lose the things that make us unique,” he was quoted as saying in an Associated Press story.
CVA’s decision to expand came in the wake of placing six skiers and snowboarders on the U.S. Olympic team and having former students Bode Miller and Kirsten Clark win medals in Olympic and world competitions. In all, CVA alumnae included eight Olympians, four world champions and 70 national champions.

2006: Carrabassett Valley Academy alumnus Seth Wescott won a gold medal in the initial snowboard cross event at the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. Wescott was born in North Carolina, but grew up in Farmington. He was an avid skier and snowboarder from the age of 10, but in 1989, he gave up skiing to concentrate on snowboarding. It paid off, not only with the Torino gold, but when the “Boss of the Cross” gave another gold-medal performance in the same event at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
In addition, Wescott won gold in snowboard cross at the 2005 World Championships (to go with the silver medals he grabbed at the 2003, 2007 and 2011 games) and three silvers and bronze at the Winter X Games.
Wescott co-owns The Rack bar and restaurant (which occupies the old Sugarloaf Brewing site on the Access Road). In 2014, he also became a partner in Winterstick Custom Snowboards, which has a facility on West Mountain.

2007: Carrabassett Valley Academy opened the first phase of its expansion, a dormitory called Murfey Hall, allowing the school to sell the Lumberjack Lodge.

(credit to history.carrabassettvalley.org)