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Historic Academy Building Restoration Complete

On Friday, May 17, The Woodstock Academy community gathered to celebrate the hard work and contributions that have transformed the iconic Academy Building into a modern learning environment. The renovations revitalized the building’s historical charm while equipping it for the next generation of Woodstock Academy students.

 “This is one of the most important gatherings we have ever had here at The Academy,” said Associate Head of School for Advancement Jon Sturdevant. “Not only because of this amazing landmark we are celebrating, but because of the collection of people who joined us in the room.”

At the event, a compilation of current students, alumni, trustees, staff, and community members, including State Representative Pat Boyd and Reverend Kevin Downer of First Congregational Church of Woodstock, all took to the stage to share their respective words of sentiment about the building’s rich history and timeless charm. Each of their speeches highlighted the 150 years of impact and embodiment of The Academy’s legacy that lives within the beloved structure and beyond. 

Among the speakers was faculty member Rich Telford, who has served WA for 27 years and taught in every single classroom in the Academy Building throughout his tenure. “So many students who have passed through the halls and classrooms of this building have gone on to live meaningful, impactful lives. They have changed and continue to change the world for the better, and they have laid and continue to lay the foundation for good that still others will build upon.”

The Academy’s campus has been comprised of several buildings since its founding in 1801, but the Academy Building has endured the longest, since 1873. In 2020, The Woodstock Academy launched InSpire 150: the Campaign for Academy Building as a formal announcement of the renovation and to raise funds for the project. Along with the generosity of many donors, The Academy received a Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit from the State Historic Preservation Office for $1.58 million. Phase 1 of the renovation began with the clocktower restoration in 2021, followed by the remaining restoration and refinishing of the building in in 2022.

Class of 1964 alumna Jennifer Randall Male and her husband Bob are ongoing supporters of The Academy and have generously contributed to this project. In recognition and appreciation of their efforts, the clocktower has been named in honor of Jennifer’s parents, Robert and Natalie Randall. 

By integrating state-of-the-art technology and contemporary learning spaces, history and modernity coexist in harmony between the Academy Building walls. WA Students will benefit from a unique learning experience enriched by the echoes of the past, yet fully equipped to meet the challenges and opportunities that speak to the essence of education in the 21st century and beyond.

“This rededication is not just about honoring a building, but about reaffirming our commitment to excellence in education. It is a celebration of our vision to foster an environment where creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration thrive. We hopefully have created a space where our students can dream big, think boldly, and achieve greatness,” said Head of School Chris Sandford. 

In his speech, Sandford also honored Bob Derrico, Gary Giambattista, and Aaron Hogary ’05 for their dedication to the restoration of the clock mechanism and the historic legacy of The Woodstock Academy. The mechanism is beautifully displayed in a glass case on the first floor of the Academy Building in The Woodstock Academy’s History Exhibit, made possible by the generosity of SPIROL in honor of Hans H. Koehl ’52. The mechanism has operated the four clock faces of the tower and struck the bell every hour since 1873.

The Woodstock Academy would like to thank all attendees of the Grand Opening as well as all donors and contributors who made these significant updates possible.



The Woodstock Academy is an independent, day and boarding, co-educational, college preparatory high school for grades 9–12 and postgraduates located in Woodstock, CT. The mission of The Woodstock Academy is to prepare all students by providing diverse opportunities through a rigorous curriculum and a variety of programs in order to cultivate the necessary skills to become lifelong learners and global citizens.