Northwest Academy is moving. And, Mother Nature is to thank for their new home.

This past spring record-setting rainfall occurred in North Idaho, which fell on top of a deep snowpack. This resulted in countless mudslides in the region. One of which was highlighted on national television and other news outlets. Unfortunately, the main road leading to Northwest Academy suffered a landslide at this time.

The school safely re-opened the main access road and immediately had a geotechnical engineering firm evaluate the situation. The engineers confirmed that the mitigation allowed for safe travel, however, extensive testing was required to understand the long-term impact.

The engineering firm recently shared their findings stating that further road erosion was negligible until next spring.

However, the roadway and infrastructure (water, power and communications utilities that run alongside the road) will experience imminent failure without long-term mitigation. This work cannot be completed before next spring.

Thus the need to relocate to a new campus.

It turns out that perhaps Mother Nature had Northwest Academy’s best interests at heart. The new campus is nearby and available for permanent use. Plus it features more buildings and space, which better suits their ability to expand programmatic offerings to students. Click here to see a video of the new Northwest Academy campus.

New Campus Move Timeline
The final report from the geotechnical engineering firm arrived just weeks ago. And, since that time Northwest Academy has been planning and arranging to set the move in action.

The move is taking place the week of November 6th. A project manager is coordinating the campus relocation and a number of remodel projects are happening prior to the move.

New Campus Location
The new campus sits on 80 acres. It is situated in a valley and surrounded by the majestic Cabinet Mountain range.

Northwest Academy’s new home is a thirty minute drive from their current campus and is adjacent to sister school Boulder Creek Academy.

Features of the New Campus
The new campus is bigger than the current facility and features:

  • An academic building with larger classrooms, numerous windows offering great light, and all on one floor
  • Large area dedicated as the College Guidance Center
  • Multi-level building dedicated to student recreation featuring a game room, media center, and upper-student lounge
  • Building dedicated to house recording studio and art studio
  • Larger dining hall with beautiful stone fireplace
  • 18 year old female students will have apartment style dorm space with kitchen, dining and living room, plus a laundry room.
  • Building to house fitness center
  • Dedicated yoga and mindfulness studio
  • Large pond (800 square feet) for fishing, canoeing and swimming
  • Climbing tower and bouldering rock
  • Basketball court
  • Volleyball court
  • Sports field
  • Access to horses and a riding arena
  • Area designated as future home of a skateboard park

And, most importantly, the same passionate staff team will be providing the same great opportunities for students.

Impact on Students
While change is always difficult and students will certainly be surprised to learn of the move, it is expected that they will become enthusiastic when they learn of the new campus.

An all school therapeutic process group is being held to help students work through the emotions they may experience when learning of the move. And, students will be touring the new campus prior to the move.

The campus move will not impact any of the various activities students are individually involved in within the local community such as flying lessons, participating on the high school soccer team or swim team, jobs, attending community college classes, taking driver’s education classes, etc. These will continue as scheduled.

Fiscal Health
In the wake of the closure the Monarch School, it is important to note that Northwest Academy is healthy and vibrant. There are more than 40 students currently on campus and the move to the new campus is predicated on the failing road and not due to financial reasons.

Northwest Academy is owned by Universal Health Services, one of the largest and most respected hospital management companies in the nation. Fortune magazine consistently lists UHS among its “World’s Most Admired Companies.”

Most recently, Forbes ranked UHS in its inaugural list of America’s Top 500 Companies. Northwest has been owned by UHS for more than 12 years and the company is committed to the future success of Northwest Academy.

Universal Health Services, Inc. is a publicly traded company (NYSE: UHS) and reported net revenues increased 7.5% to $2.61 billion during the second quarter of 2017 as compared to $2.43 billion during the second quarter of 2016.

Over the past three years, UHS has invested more than $1 billion in their facilities.

Impact on Boulder Creek Academy
The impact on Boulder Creek Academy is minimal save having a new neighbor. Work has begun on remodeling a space on the Boulder Creek Academy campus that will become home to a new female recreation area. In addition, a building will be renovated and will become the girl’s dorm complete with an 18 year old apartment for older/transitioning students. This project will be completed spring 2018.

Julia Andrick