PEI

Charlottetown's Mount Academy expanding to North Rustico in 2022

The Mount Academy, an independent school based in Charlottetown, is planning an expansion to North Rustico next year.

Private school with focus on athletics will move into new arena facility

Mount Academy is running out of space at its current facility in the Mount Continuing Care Community in Charlottetown. (Laura Meader/CBC)

The Mount Academy, an independent school based in Charlottetown, is planning an expansion to North Rustico next year. 

The three-year-old school is growing and running out of space, and once the new North Star Arena and Wellness Facility is completed in North Rustico, the academy will move its high school program and its four hockey teams there.

"Mount Academy is certainly becoming a destination for a lot of students from outside of the province," said Kenny MacDougall, the school's headmaster. 

"I think the move to North Rustico moves us towards a more permanent boarding school location."

Mount Academy headmaster Kenny MacDougall says the move to North Rustico 'improves and enhances the experience the student athletes will have.' (Kirk Pennell/CBC)

The school's grade 6 to 8 students will remain at the Charlottetown campus, at the Mount Continuing Care Community on Mount Edward Road. 

The plan is also to expand the school to the younger elementary grades, said MacDougall. 

"We're really excited about the opportunity to grow what we've been continuing to build," he said. 

"The demand for the school is at an all-time high in terms of inquiries and applications that are in and commitments for next year." 

We'll be able to have a student lounge, student cafeteria, things that have been missing in the past.— Kenny MacDougall, Mount Academy 

The community of North Rustico is also excited about the partnership with its new arena and wellness facility. 

"We're just really pleased and excited about it all because we really think it's a win-win situation," said Heather McKenna, mayor of North Rustico.   

"It's really good for the town because it's a 10-year commitment by the Mount Academy and it will make the arena a whole lot more sustainable," she said. 

North Rustico Mayor Heather McKenna calls the partnership between the school and new arena a 'win-win.' (Laura Meader/CBC )

Mount Academy will use the facility during the day, when it likely wouldn't otherwise be used. 

The hockey teams at the school currently use Cody Banks Arena in Charlottetown, and they have three trailers outside to use as their dressing rooms and to house equipment. 

"As we grow, there's a necessity to have classroom space, teaching space, dressing room space, equipment storage space," said MacDougall. 

"North Rustico will provide all of that for us." 

Everything under one roof 

MacDougall is also looking forward to having more amenities all in one place. 

"The ability to have your school, your workout, your dressing room, your offices all under one roof is something that we haven't had in the last three years," he said. 

"We'll be able to have a student lounge, student cafeteria, things that have been missing in the past."  

The North Star Arena and Wellness Centre is scheduled to be complete in December of 2021, and the school plans to move there in January 2022. 

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Laura Meader and Kirk Pennell

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