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Christian boarding school to move into former Linden School campus

NORTHFIELD ­­— A Christian boarding school from Troy, N.Y., plans to move to the former Linden Hill School campus in November.

Redemption Christian Academy announced plans to move its boarding school operations to Northfield, on the site of Linden Hill School, which closed in June after 61 years of teaching young boys with learning disabilities. Redemption is under contract to purchase the 100-acre Linden Hill campus, according to a news release.

Redemption is a co-ed school that offers day programs for grades pre-K through 12, and boarding programs for junior and senior high school students, as well as post-graduates. Day school will continue to be held in Troy.

“I think it will be exciting to have Linden Hill occupied again,” said Selectboard Chairwoman Kathy Wright. “From what I know about the school, I feel they would be a great addition to Northfield. And the campus is certainly too beautiful to lie empty.”

The school learned of Linden Hill’s availability when Redemption officials toured the former Northfield Mount Hermon School campus this spring. Redemption was one of several groups considered for the campus, which Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., has offered to Grand Canyon University of Phoenix, Ariz. GCU plans to open on the Northfield campus in 2014, ramping up to a possible 5,000 students by 2018.

While touring the former NMH campus, the Rev. John Massey Jr., Redemption founder, said the school was actively seeking a new home.

“We’re outgrowing our campus in Troy,” he said in April. “Our enrollment is a little under 100. We have to turn people down (for lack of space).”

Massey and others from Redemption returned for several tours of the former NMH campus and also attended the Sept. 21 announcement of the owners’ chosen recipient.

Redemption Christian Academy was founded in 1979 by Massey as a day school serving students from the Redemption Church of Christ and other Troy area churches. Within five years, the school began accepting boarding students, and now teaches students from around the world. The school bills itself as a traditionally African-American boarding school, but teaches students from all races.

The academy credits its success largely to the financial support of the Redemption Church of Christ in nearby Waterfield, N.Y., of which Massey is pastor. Massey’s wife, Sister Joan Massey, serves as the school’s principal as well as assistant pastor of the church.

Redemption follows Booker T. Washington’s “head, hand, heart” model, engaging students in hard work and physical labor, as well as church and community service in addition to academics.

The school aims to offer an affordable education. Its tuition is considerably less than many private high schools in Franklin County.

Tuition for Redemption’s seven-day, domestic boarding students is $24,500 per year, while five-day boarders are charged $19,500, and day students pay $7,000. Deerfield Academy’s domestic boarding students pay $47,500 in tuition, and day students are charged $34,050. Tuition for Northfield Mount Hermon’s boarding students is $49,700, while day students pay $34,200. The Stonleigh Burnham School charges $48,443 for boarding and $28,890 for day students. All of the schools offer financial aid to qualifying families.

Linden Hill served boys age 9 to 16, and typically had about 30 boarding students from the U.S. and around the world, said Headmaster James McDaniel in a previous article.

David Rainville can be reached at:
drainville@recorder.com
or 413 772-0261, ext. 279

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