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Christian Brothers Academy (Albany, New York)

Christian Brothers Academy is a private Catholic college preparatory junior and senior high school for boys founded in 1859 by the De La Salle Christian Brothers (see Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools). Christian Brothers Academy is located in the town of Colonie, New York near the Albany International Airport on a 126-acre (0.51 km2) campus built in 1998. Christian Brothers Academy is independently run by a board of trustees. The school is known for its academic and athletic programs, and has had a 100% college acceptance rate since 1980. The school's athletic program also boasts numerous athletic titles. Christian Brothers Academy currently educates 553 students in grades 5-12 from 48 different school districts throughout the Capital Region.

Christian Brothers Academy
CBA New.jpg
Christian Brothers Academy, 2009
12 Airline Drive
Albany, NY 12205
Coordinates 42°43′57″N 73°49′14″W / 42.73250°N 73.82056°W / 42.73250; -73.82056Coordinates: 42°43′57″N 73°49′14″W / 42.73250°N 73.82056°W / 42.73250; -73.82056
Type Private, Day
Motto Signum Fidei
("Sign of Faith")
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic;
Christian Brothers
Patron saint(s) St. John Baptist de La Salle
Established 1859
Founder Brothers of the Christian Schools
School district Independent
Chairperson Christopher Scaringe
Head of school Dr. James Schlegel
Chaplain Fr. James Walsh
Staff 64
Grades 5-12
Gender Boys
Enrollment 553 (2017-2018)
Campus Suburban
Campus size 126 acres (0.51 km2)
Color(s) Purple and Gold         
Slogan A Tradition of Excellence Since 1859
Athletics 13 interscholastic sports: 32 individual teams
Athletics conference Section 2- Suburban Council
Team name Brothers
Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools[1]
Publication CBA Chronicles
Admissions Director Brian O'Connell
Athletic Director Blaine Drescher



In 1854, the Christian Brothers were invited to Albany by Bishop McCloskey, to open an orphan asylum for boys. To help support the asylum, the Brothers began a pay school in 1859 in which eighty boys enrolled. Stagecoaches carried the boys from downtown to the school’s rural location. After a few years, a separate building on Madison Avenue was secured. In 1869, the school was chartered by the University of the State of New York and a brass band was incorporated at the school. Over the next twenty years, the school outgrew its facilities several times. Each time, it relocated to a larger site. In 1882, the school moved to Lydius Street and in 1886, the Brothers purchased the former Normal College at 43 Lodge Street from the State Education Department. Classes were conducted in this building for the next fifty-one years.

In 1892 military training was introduced and the Civil War Zouave uniform was adopted for the cadets. Enrollment at Lodge Street followed a pattern of ups and downs. Since the lack of a suitable campus did not help attract students, the building itself became a liability.

In 1935, the Brothers realized that the dilapidated structure, nearly a century old, could no longer support the school's necessary new programs. They began a movement to secure property and funds to erect a new, modern building. Through the interest of influential friends and alumni, city and county officials in 1937 made available to the Brothers a plot of land. Popular response to the fund drive was immediate and generous. Bishop Gibbons and Mayor John Boyd Thatcher II urged all citizens of Albany to contribute. In 1937, accreditation as a military academy was granted by the United States government.

The De La Salle campus, featuring the Georgian Colonial school building, was opened in September 1939 in time for the school's eightieth year. The gymnasium building was added in 1942, and the Brothers' Residence in 1951. The old "alm's house" building on the new University Heights campus, popularly called "the Armory", initially housed the Rifle Range in its basement and the upper floors served as an arms room and military classroom. In later years, a Biology laboratory was added to the lower floor. One unique feature of the lab was the inclusion of live animals, which were cared for by the students. Also in this building was “the cage”, which served as the locker room for the football and track programs. In 1991, the school added a sixth grade.

Eventually, the De La Salle site was in need of updating and refurbishing. The University Heights Consortium made an $8.4 million offer for the property and plans were made to move the school to the Town of Colonie. The new campus was erected with a price of $13.5 million. The new campus would feature a 75,000 square foot academic building along with a 9,000 square foot Christian Brothers Residence. The new campus on Airline Drive incorporated current technological advancements into its design and structure. Four science labs, a technology center, as-well-as a Lecture Hall equipped with all the latest media tools, became available to faculty and students. An 8,000 square foot auditorium was included in the original design to be built sometime in the future.

The school's buildings and grounds have undergone an extensive refurbishment since the campus opened including a large academic and athletic expansion. Shortly after the new campus opened, the cafeteria was expanded by over 1,500 square feet to accommodate a growing enrollment. In 2013, land was cleared to accommodate a second baseball field. Additionally, in September 2016, Christian Brothers Academy opened a new 7,200 square foot academic wing, The Mary and Michael Ozimek Arts and Science Wing. As a part of the school's three-year Capital Campaign, the wing features a brand new music room that is double the size of the old room, a brand new Science lab dedicated to STEM instruction, a meeting room for faculty and staff, four additional classrooms, and general space for multi-purpose use. The school now offers over 80,000 square feet of instructional space and over 30 acres of dedicated athletic facilities.

CBA currently offers a college preparatory program for young men in grades 5 through 12. The 5th grade began in September 2016. CBA educates students from a wide geographic area that includes 50 school districts. CBA also offers optional leadership training through its JROTC Program. Christian Brothers Academy educates approximately 553 students (Grades 9-12: 347 students; Grades 5-8: 206 students) from 48 different school districts throughout the Capital Region.


In the junior high school, students complete a curriculum centered on the core courses in English, social studies, math and science, as well as religion, foreign language, Fine Arts and physical education. The focus of the program is to provide students with the skills and inspiration necessary to pursue the college preparatory program of the high school.

In both the high school and junior high school, there is an honors course of study available to qualified students. In the junior high, honors students in the eighth grade will be permitted to study Algebra 1 and Biology, which are course offerings at the ninth grade level. The high school program allows students to take honors level courses in all of the core disciplines (math, science, social studies, English and foreign language) through a combination of Advanced Placement (AP) offerings and regularly scheduled courses.

The College Board offers the AP program to high schools as an opportunity for students to pursue advanced credit in specific disciplines. The school offers AP courses in Spanish V (also CHS), Statistics, Calculus, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, US History, World History, English Literature and Composition, English Language and Composition, and Computer Science. Students who wish to enroll in AP courses must meet all prerequisites for the Honors Program. Additionally, students enrolled in an AP course are required to sit for the AP exams scheduled in May, and to pay all necessary fees for the course.

Christian Brothers Academy also offers courses for college credit through local colleges and universities. The school offers Advertising I, Principles of Marketing, Accounting I, Advanced Algebra and Topics, Advanced Algebra, Music Theory, Advanced Computer Applications, and CMPT 115 through Hudson Valley Community College's "College in the High School" program. Through the University at Albany's "University in the High School" program, the school offers Spanish V (also can be taken for AP credit), Spanish IV, and Pre-Calculus.


Christian Brothers Academy participates in athletics under the guidelines of Section II and the New York Public High School Athletic Association. Christian Brothers Academy formerly participated in the Big 10 athletic league until its disbanding in 2014. Christian Brothers Academy joined the Suburban Council in the 2015-2016 school year. CBA's Athletics Program is classified by Section II as a "Class AA" school, the highest classification in New York State.

CBA offers numerous athletic teams that include Soccer, Football, Golf, Cross Country, Basketball, Hockey, Swimming, Indoor Track & Field, Bowling, Lacrosse, Baseball, Outdoor Track & Field, and Tennis. Athletic teams are generally offered at the Modified, Freshman, JV, and Varsity level, though team availability depends on the sport. The Basketball program also includes CYO teams for 5th, 6th, and 7th graders.

CBA's athletic teams have won numerous championships throughout the school's history. Most prominently, The CBA Basketball program has had much success. The program won the Section II-Class AA title 7 years out of their record 10 straight championship game appearances from 2004-2013. CBA won sectional titles in 2004,2005,2006,2009,2010,2011 and 2012. The program also boasts many prior division championships, multiple regional titles, and multiple appearances in the New York State Final Four. Christian Brothers Academy won the state championship in 2010.

The CBA Football Team also has a rich history of success. This includes 23 League Championships, 3 Section II Championships (1985, 2006, 2013), 3-time Sectional Finalists (1982, 1999, 2014), 12 state ranked seasons (1973,1974,1976,1977,1982,1985,1993,1995,2006,2013,2014,2016), and 1 Empire Division Championship (2013). As of 2010, since 1932, CBA Football had an overall record of (373-230-17). The CBA Football Team won the 2013 Section 2 Class AA Championship at UAlbany's Bob Ford Field.

CBA was for many years the dominant track team and field team in Section II winning the New York State Championship outdoors in 1979 and indoors in 1981, and won 19 Sectional Championships. CBA was the indoor champion in: 1978, 1979, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, and 1994 and the outdoor champion in: 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1986, and 1987. CBA also won numerous Big 10 Athletic Conference, Diocesan League, City of Albany and Albany County Championships.[2]

Battle for the SabreEdit

An annual tradition between Christian Brothers Academy and rival LaSalle Institute is the "Battle for the Sabre" football game. The winner of the football game each year is awarded the "Sabre" to keep at their respective school for the year until the next year's meeting. The "Sabre" itself dates back to the early 1900s. The first meeting was in 1932. The schools, however, did not play in 1977-1978, 1984-2000, 2005, and 2017. The all-time series record stands at (39-21-6) with Christian Brothers Academy leading with 39 wins as of October 2016.


The academic building, built in 1998, houses grades 5-12. The building has updated classrooms, modern science labs, the 100-seat college style Lecture Hall, computer lab, 1,200 seat Ned McGraw Gymnasium, large cafeteria, the Alumni Library, art studio, brand new music studio, Cadet Chapel, administrative offices, Brother Aloysius Myers FSC Guidance Center, among others. The campus now includes The Mary and Michael Ozimek Arts and Science Wing, which is a 7,200 square foot addition that includes a new, bigger music room, a new dedicated STEM Science lab, meeting space for faculty & students, and new classrooms.

The 126 acre campus is also home to modern athletic facilities. Facilities include modern locker rooms, multiple Soccer/Lacrosse fields, 2 practice football fields, 2 baseball fields, 6 tennis courts, long and high jump pits, shot put court, discus court, pole vault pit, and the Puleo Stadium which features an all-natural grass playing field surrounded by a 400-meter running track. The running track was replaced in 2016 with a brand new surface.

Also located on the grounds is the Christian Brothers Residence. The large house is used to accommodate Brothers (DeLaSalle Christian Brothers) involved in the school, or those who are retired.


Each school day, along with numerous school functions, begins with the Lasallian call and response, "Let us remember, that we are in the Holy Presence of God." A prayer follows this, ending with "St. John Baptist de La Salle, Pray for us...Live Jesus in our hearts, Forever!" Students are required to take a Theology class throughout their stay at CBA. School-wide masses are held monthly in the Ned McGraw Gymnasium.

Failed MergersEdit

In 1998, the new CBA campus opened with 379 students. By 2004, CBA's enrollment rose to 536 students, the highest enrollment the new building had seen. In 2008, the recession took a toll on enrollment and by 2008 enrollment had hit a low of 336 students. Shortly after, La Salle Institute in Troy, in a similar situation, began looking at options with CBA that included combining services or merging. In 2009, numerous open-door meetings were held at both schools. The plan would have sent students to the smaller and older La Salle Institute campus for a transitional year while the CBA campus was refurbished and further expanded. The La Salle Institute campus would have been sold. However, after months of discussion, the merger was rejected. A large financial contribution by alumni, family, and friends helped CBA recover from its struggles.

Since the merger was rejected in 2009, CBA has become one of the region's leading institutions. Enrollment has rebounded from 336 students to 553 students in 2017. CBA has had the privilege of being the fastest growing private school in the Capital District. Not only has enrollment grown but so has CBA's academic program. Each year more AP, College in the High School, and University in the High School programs are being added. In the 2013-2014 scholastic year, CBA introduced a STEM program through Rochester Institute of Technology featuring courses geared toward the field of Engineering. These classes are taught in a designated, custom designed STEM lab.

Capital CampaignEdit

In September 2015, CBA launched a 3-year, $5.2 million Capital Campaign, Our Defining Moment. The Campaign focuses on 7 distinct areas to address the current needs of the school's academics and facilities.

Priorities Description Status
Fine Arts Expansion and Science Wing The addition of a 7,200 square foot academic wing, The Mary and Michael Ozimek Arts and Science Wing, featuring 4 new classrooms; restrooms; a brand new music room, which will double the size of the current room to accommodate the large number of students in the music program; a faculty and staff conference room; and a dedicated space for one on one instruction. Completed
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) An investment in needed curriculum development and equipment, as well as the creation of a fund to support continuity of this rigorous four-year program. The current music room will be converted into a dedicated STEM lab. Completed
Renovate and Update Science Labs Modernizing all Science labs to provide a facility where students can perform experiments using state-of-the-art research instrumentation in the course of their studies in biology, chemistry, physics, and earth science. This means replacing old equipment, purchasing new lab work stations, and installing proper ventilation. Ongoing
Faculty Professional Development By investing in their continued professional development, not only does the faculty remain committed to the educational goals at CBA, they stay inspired resulting in a creative academic environment. Ongoing
Co-Curricular Program Enhancement A fund dedicated to support co-curricular activities will strengthen the CBA experience for every student providing an environment that is transformative. Completed
Facilities Replacement of the aging running track; roof replacement; parking lot and road improvements; new energy efficient, computer controlled HVAC system; building security, replacement of mechanical equipment, facility repairs; an enlarged Technology Center in the Library and upgrades to administrative technology systems. Track replacement completed October 2016. Other projects ongoing.
Annual Fund Maintaining a level of at least $500,000 to allow CBA to meet its daily expenses. All Annual Fund gifts will count toward the $5.2 million goal. Ongoing

Campus locationsEdit

Location Years
Western Turnpike 1859-1862
Lydius St. 1862-1868
Beaver St. 1868-1877
Madison Ave 1877-1886
Lodge St. 1886-1939
De La Salle Rd. 1939-1998
Airline Dr. 1998–Present


The school is accredited by the New York State Board of Regents, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools,[1] and the high school JROTC program, and as an "Honor Unit With Distinction" by the United States Department of the Army.


  1. ^ a b MSA-CSS. "MSA-Commission on Secondary Schools". Archived from the original on February 12, 2011. Retrieved 2009-05-27. 
  2. ^ Albany Times Union

External linksEdit