A historic campus is now home to a new military academy in Central Kentucky.
Forest Hill Military Academy, which opens in August in Millersburg in Bourbon County, will be a co-ed school for grades 6-12 with both boarding and day students.
In small classrooms, Forest Hill will stress academics and advanced technology along with military training.
The non-profit school is an expansion of the 103-year-old U.S. Army Cadet Corps, a private organization that provides a high-adventure weekend-based program to young people across the country.
Forest Hill is located on the historic campus of the former Millersburg Military Institute, which served students for 113 years before closing its doors five years ago.
The Army Cadet Corps found the campus advertised on eBay and bought it in 2008.
“The campus was in no shape for students then,” said Col. Joseph M. Land, Sr., Corps’ Chief of Staff, who is responsible for the program’s day-to-day operations. “It was a dilapidated mess.”
But the campus did not stay dilapidated – or empty – long. Over the past three summers, about 1,000 Army Cadets – age 12-18 – have attended two to six weeks of military adventure camp at Forest Hill Station in Millersburg.
Students from 44 states and 21 countries attended camps such as the two-week Basic Cadet Training, six-week Cadet Ranger School, three-week Cadet Non-commissioned Officer Academy and two-week Cadet Military Police Academy.
The weekend program will continue for Cadets who are not attending Forest Hill.
“Many of our current Cadets have a strong interest in attending the school,” Land said.
Those students, along with new Cadets from throughout the Bluegrass region, are being interviewed to be part of the initial student body, starting August, 2012.
Forest Hill is a military academy, Land said, for students who are crime-free, drug-free and have the potential to be doing well in school. It’s not meant to be a solution for troubled youth.
“We do not want students who are sent here against their will. We want Cadets who want to be here,” he said.
Land expects about 75 students when classes begin in August. About 75% will be boarding students – males only. Young men and women may attend as day students.
“We prepare students for life in college, private industry or service to their country,” Land said.
“Honor, loyalty and service are traits that serve all Americans, regardless of their career path.”