LAKE PLACID, NY – A chapter ends this graduation weekend for a Lake Placid school known for turning out Olympians.
Faculty and staff fought hard to keep the National Sports Academy open, but in the end they had to file bankruptcy under Chapter 11 and will close this weekend.
Established in 1977, the academy has tutored and encouraged student athletes to chase their dreams for 38 years.
But this week the board of trustees announced it will close it’s doors Sunday, the day after graduation
“It’s been a really tough week. To be sustainable and to continue on we needed to have a certain size student body or a certain amount of revenue to be able to continue on,” said Lisa Wint, Head of School.
Continuing financial pressures led the board to decide to close.
Head of school Lisa Wint said it would around $1.5 million and more time to save the school and staff.
“My fiancé and I, we’re both going to be losing our jobs with this. We’re going to look and see what’s out there and where the next step takes us,” said Nick Unger, Head Boys Hockey Coach and History Teacher.
Coach and history teacher Nick Unger said saying goodbye is tough not only to his job, but the students.
More than 1,000 men and women graduated from National Sports Academy to pursue their passions.
“Without having gone to NSA. I wouldn’t have made the Olympic team,” said Aiden Kelly, Olympic Luge Slider.
Olympic Luge slider and alumnus, Aiden Kelly said he hates to see this happen, especially for those who aspire to make it to the Olympics.
“It’s sad for me to think other athletes won’t be given the opportunity that I’ve been had,” said Kelly.
And with heavy hearts, faculty, students and the community said they’ll hold on to the memories.
“I feel grateful that I’ve had the chance to be here and touch the lives of a lot of kids,” Wint said.
“Memories will be there forever,” said Unger.
Graduation is Saturday.
Following the ceremony people can walk through the halls of the academy one last time.
The school is helping students who are not graduating to find another school that meets their athletic goals.
Many of them are international students.