Yarmouth, Maine, May 9, 2022: A groundbreaking and shovel ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 2 at 10:00 a.m. at North Yarmouth Academy (NYA) to mark the commencement of construction on the reimagined and expanded Travis Roy Ice Arena and new fitness and wellness center. Members of the community are invited. The ceremony will be held in front of NYA’s Travis Roy Arena (497, US Route 1, Yarmouth).
“We are thrilled to break ground on one of the most exciting projects in the history of our campus. This facility offers a new vision for athletics, fitness, and wellness across NYA’s entire student body,” said Head of School Ben Jackson. “I can imagine no better place for current and future students to pursue their health and wellness goals. With this project, we honor and take inspiration from the legacy of Travis Roy ’94.”
Members of the NYA community have offered extraordinary philanthropic support for the project, which will be completely funded by benefactors, including a gift from Trustee Frederique Daniel and Dr. Jarrod Daniel, NYA parents, of $4 million – the largest gift in the Academy’s history. Announced in November, this historic investment helped to build fundraising momentum.
Additional lead gifts have helped to propel the $6 million project, including support from Lori and Chris Poulin, NYA parents; Steve Malcom and Martha Barrett, NYA alumni parents; and a grant from the Welch Family Foundation. “NYA will be offering an incredible range of opportunities to students in this new space,” said Trustee Lori Poulin. “The Academy’s vision to further enhance and integrate health and wellness into its academic and athletic programming is exciting and inspiring. We are thrilled that we can play a role in helping to support the effort.”
The more than 4,000 square foot fitness and wellness center will include cardio and strength training equipment, weights, and flexible space for yoga, meditation and mindfulness. There will also be dedicated space for classroom instruction and team meetings. “There is a tremendous amount of research and data that connects student fitness and wellness to improved cognitive function, academic performance, social networks, and engagement on campus, as well as decreased stress and anxiety,” noted Ian Ramsey, NYA’s founding director of the Kauffmann Program who teaches environmental writing, brain science, physiology, music, and mindfulness.
The project will also focus on modernizing, enhancing, and expanding the Travis Roy Ice Arena, transforming both the player and spectator experience. The arena improvements will support the legacy of excellence for NYA’s top-tier boys and girls ice hockey programs, while enhancing the Academy’s ability to be a community resource. “NYA’s hockey program taught me so much about teamwork, leadership, and collaboration,” says former NHL defenseman, Eric Weinrich ’85. “It’s exciting to see the Academy reimagining what the Travis Roy Arena can be for players and their friends and families who watch them compete.”
In addition, the new facility will offer a permanent, high-visibility home for the Edgar F. White, Class of 1938, Athletic Hall of Fame. Made possible by Mr. White and his family, this space will celebrate all inductees to the Hall of Fame, honoring those in the NYA community who distinguished themselves or contributed to athletics at the Academy, while also inspiring NYA student-athletes of the future.
“All of us at NYA are deeply grateful for our community of supporters who truly understand the life-changing impact of the NYA experience,” said Head of School Ben Jackson. “Their vision and generosity will help ensure that NYA students continue to flourish now and far into the future.”
Since the fall, the Academy has also added more than $880,000 in new support for the endowment from generous benefactors, including lead gifts from James Cabot ’98 and Renée Cabot, NYA parents; David Mitchell ’67, son of former Headmaster Jack Mitchell; Lincoln J. Merrill Jr. ’75 and Kim A. Merrill, NYA alumni parents; Barbara and Scott Marr, NYA alumni parents, as well as Alexander ’01 and AnneMarie Cabot. A strong endowment ensures there is an enduring source of funding for NYA’s immediate and future needs.
“It is important the Academy focuses on both ensuring our facilities match the caliber of our students today and into the future while also maintaining long-term financial sustainability for programs, facilities, and financial aid through growing support for the NYA endowment,” said Chief Financial Officer Garrett Bowne, parent of two NYA alumni. “We are grateful for these critically important gifts to the endowment, which allow NYA to support student achievement while attracting and retaining the faculty who create the life-changing impact of an NYA education.”
In December 2019, the NYA Board of Trustees underscored the need to invest boldly in the Academy’s future when they unanimously approved the Strategic Vision 2020 Plan. The Plan articulates the importance of growing the endowment, supporting innovative programs, and creating academic, athletic, and performing arts facilities to support those programs and to allow our students and faculty to thrive.
The target completion date for the arena, fitness and wellness project is summer 2023. To ensure ice time remains available for periods during construction to both NYA and community hockey teams, construction will be completed in phases. NYA parent Tim Hebert, owner of Hebert Construction, is overseeing the project.
North Yarmouth Academy is an independent, college preparatory, coeducational school for toddlers to post graduate students with an enrollment of 375. Since 1814, NYA has fostered integrity, character, and intellect in its students. For more information on NYA, visit www.NYA.org or call 207-847-5423. For information on this project, please contact Jennifer Richard, NYA Development Director at 207-847-5429.