Venerable 108-year-old dormitory to receive sweeping renovations in 2017-18

NORTH BRIDGTON, ME – “January 4, 1909 is a day long to be remembered by the girls of Bridgton Academy, as the day when the dormitory was first opened to them.” – The Stranger, Vol. 26, No. 2 (1909). With those words, the history of the yet-unnamed Cleaves Hall began. Originally designated as a women’s dormitory, Cleaves Hall was formally named in 1914 after Bridgton alumnus and former Maine Governor, Henry B. Cleaves. The dormitory, which has served 108 consecutive Bridgton Academy classes, is perhaps the Academy’s most famous landmark.

Bridgton Academy is pleased to announce that, during the 2017-18 school year, Cleaves Hall will be undergoing an extensive renovation; as such, it will not be available to house Class of 2018 students. The project will completely revamp the existing structure and will be completed in time to welcome students of the incoming Class of 2019. The long-time residence hall is in need of major updating and renovations, and Bridgton Academy made the difficult decision to take the building off-line to ensure its future. Although the building needs significant upgrades, the structure and foundation is sound and will remain where it has stood for over a century.

The loss of the nearly forty beds in Cleaves Hall has necessitated a slightly smaller-than-average Class of 2018, but to compensate for the lack of bed space, the venerable Potter House has been brought back as a dormitory, with Bridgton Academy veteran Mr. Travis Dube presiding over Potter once more.

“We are extremely excited to undergo this long overdue renovation for Cleaves Hall,” said Bridgton Academy Head of School, Mr. Martin Mooney. “This is an opportunity to take a legendary structure and completely revamp it for the 21st century, without losing the character and history that has made it what it is. I can’t wait to see the new and improved Cleaves Hall.”

“Plans are underway for the complete renovation of Bridgton Academy’s oldest and largest dormitory……Cleaves Hall,” said Bridgton Academy Board of Trustees President, Kevin Jones ’81. Jones continues, “Opened in 1909, Cleaves has housed forty plus students annually for nearly 110 school years, and the time has now come for a complete renovation. We are incredibly excited to get this project underway and look forward to delivering a new and modernized dormitory to serve the needs of our students for generations to come. Construction is expected to begin in 2018 and completed in time for the 2018–2019 academic year.”

Requests for proposal have been sent to contracting firms throughout the Northeast, and Bridgton Academy hopes to have a contractor selected by the late fall, allowing for renovations to begin officially in the early months of 2018.

Bridgton Academy’s mission is to provide a program for young men in a unique, one-year postgraduate environment to prepare for the competitive rigors of college and beyond. Bridgton Academy is located in western Maine, in the town of North Bridgton.

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