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Tour the Carson Long Military Academy campus

Tour the Carson Long Military Academy campus

This is Christine Vendel from PennLive, and I’m here in New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania, in Perry County at the
nation’s oldest military boarding school. As you can see, the campus is quiet and
completely empty. Last month, school officials announced that the
academy would be closing because of low enrollment and not enough money, but then
earlier this week, the CEO put out a statement that the academy would open in the fall, creating lots of confusion. As it turned out, the CEO statement was
believed to be a last-ditch effort to give alumni a chance to get together a
financial package that could keep the school open. As it turned out, however, on
Wednesday, alumni posted on their Facebook page that their efforts had
failed, that they would need to gain at least $4 million to get the
school open for the fall and really needed a total of $10 million
for some deferred maintenance, adding fire suppression systems to all nine
buildings and removing asbestos from three buildings, in addition to replacing
outdated electrical wiring throughout. So it appears that the school is closing
for good. It’s part of a national trend with military academies closing. In New
York, for example, there had been 40 military academies closing in recent
decades, leaving just one school, and now Pennsylvania also appears to just have
one school left — the Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

Reader Comments

  1. I went there when it was called Carson Long Military Institute, it honestly was the most life changing experience I’ve ever had growing up. Truly shaped my character and made me into who I am today. Very upsetting that it is closed down.

  2. It was Carson Long Institute when I was there from 1974-75 until 1977-78. By that time, it was catering to regular kids and that was mentioned as part of the trouble with trying to raise money. There weren't many rich alumni. Lets be honest It was kind of grubby back in the 70's. The crash of 2007-08 may have been the straw that broke the camel's back, but a number of us feel that once it stopped essentially being a Holman family business, the school's days were numbered. After graduating, I went to Georgia Military College for my first two years of college. They had similar problems back then like many other military schools. They went from having a brigade and all men in the college and prep school to only having like a total of 100 college cadets and girls not in uniform in the prep school. Even then, the way they saved the school wast to essentially make it the regional community college. Because of its isolated location, CLI really didn't have any options for day students like their "sister school" Linden Hall did. It is a shame to see it go. I wonder what will become of the property? It is a beautiful location, but once again, the isolated nature of the town limits what you can do with it.

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