Christian Brothers Academy (Albany, New York)

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Christian Brothers Academy
CBA New.jpg
Christian Brothers Academy, 2009
12 Airline Drive

Coordinates42°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
TypePrivate, Day
MottoSignum Fidei
("Sign of Faith")
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic;
Christian Brothers
Patron saint(s)St. John Baptist de La Salle
FounderBrothers of the Christian Schools
School districtIndependent
PresidentJames Schlegel
ChairpersonChristopher Scaringe
PrincipalCharles Abba
Enrollment556 (2021-2022)
Campus size126 acres (0.51 km2)
Color(s)Purple and Gold   
SloganA Tradition of Excellence Since 1859
Athletics15 interscholastic sports: 35 individual teams
Athletics conferenceSection 2- Suburban Council
Team nameBrothers
RivalLa Salle Institute
AccreditationMiddle States Association of Colleges and Schools[1]
PublicationCBA Chronicles
Admissions DirectorBrian O'Connell
Athletic DirectorBlaine Drescher

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 educates 556 students in grades 5-12 from 49 different school districts throughout the Capital Region.


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.

During 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. Also in 1937, CBA was accredited as a military academy was granted by the United States government. In 2012, Administration and the board of trustees made the decision to become a JROTC optional institution.

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. Multiple science labs, a technology center, as-well-as a Lecture Hall equipped with all the latest media tools, became available to faculty and students.

Since the new campus opened in 1998, the school's buildings and grounds have undergone extensive refurbishments to keep the campus updated and secure. These renovations included an expanded cafeteria, a second baseball field, and a new wing. This wing was part of the schools $5.2 million Capital Campaign that launched in 2015. The wing added a new professionally designed music room, a new STEM lab, and 4 additional classrooms to accommodate the school's growing enrollment. 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. In 2016, the Administration approved the addition of Fifth Grade to the school. CBA educates 556 students in Grades 5-12 from 49 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 at the Varsity, JV, Freshman, and Modified levels. CYO Basketball is also offered for the middle school.

Sports Offered
Fall Winter Spring
Football Basketball Baseball
Golf Ice Hockey Lacrosse
Cross Country Indoor Track & Field Outdoor Track & Field
Soccer Bowling Tennis
Volleyball Swimming

CBA has a rich history of athletic championships which are denoted below.


The CBA Basketball program has captured numerous division, sectional, regional, and state championships. CBA Basketball boasts 3 Catholic League championships, 7 Diocesan League championships, 11 Big Ten championships, 9 Section II championships, 5 New York State Final Four appearances, and 1 State Championship. In 2010, Christian Brothers Academy won the New York State Class AA championship, defeating Half Hollow Hills West 71–53.


The CBA Football team also has a rich history of success. This includes 24 League championships, 3 Section II championships, 5 Section II championship game appearances, and 13 state ranked seasons. As of 2010, since 1932, CBA Football had an overall record of (373-230-17). The CBA football team most recently won the 2021 Section 2 Class AA Sectional Championship against Shenendehowa High School in November of 2021.

Battle for the Sabre[edit]

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, 2017, 2019, and 2020. The all-time series record stands at (41-21-6) with Christian Brothers Academy leading with 42 wins as of September 2022.

Track and field[edit]

The CBA Track & Field program won the New York State Outdoor Championship in 1979 and the Indoor Championship in 1981. CBA has won 19 Sectional Championships. CBA has also won numerous Big 10 Athletic Conference, Diocesan League, City of Albany and Albany County championships.[2]


The CBA Lacrosse program boasts 5 Capital District Lacrosse League championships, 14 Big Ten championships, and 8 Section II Semi-Final appearances. CBA Lacrosse has also produced 8 NCAA All Americans, and 16 US Lacrosse High School All Americans.


The CBA Soccer program boasts 3 Suburban Council division championships, 3 Sectional Final appearances, 1 Section II championship, and 1 New York State Regional Final appearance.


The CBA Baseball program boasts 13 Big Ten championships, 1 Suburban Council championship, and 6 Section II championships.


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, and other spaces. 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 music room, STEM Science lab, and new classrooms.

The 126 acre campus is also home to modern athletic facilities. Facilities include modern locker rooms, multiple Soccer/Lacrosse fields, 2 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 new, state-of-the-art, multi-sport synthetic turf field surrounded by a 400-meter running track. The running track was replaced in 2016 with a brand new surface, and the turf field was completed in August 2021.

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.

Student Population[edit]

Christian Brothers Academy Enrollment
School Year Enrollment
2017-2018 553
2018-2019 549
2019-2020 540
2020-2021 554
2021-2022 556

CBA's students come from a large geographic area. As of the 2021–2022 school year, CBA has an enrollment of 556 students who represent 49 different school districts. Approximately 1/4 of students live in cities, and 3/4 of students come from suburban areas. Some travel upwards of 50 miles to be a part of the CBA community and the CBA tradition. As of September 2021, the 4 largest districts of residence by enrollment were Shenendehowa, South Colonie, North Colonie, and Albany. These 4 districts make up at least 50% of the school's total enrollment.

Faith and service[edit]

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 throughout the school year.

All students are required to participate in a service-learning program in which students volunteer their time to help the needy & less fortunate. These volunteer opportunities include food pantries, nursing homes, and churches, among others. Students then write a reflection on their experience.

Notable alumni[edit]

2015 Capital Campaign[edit]

In September 2015, CBA launched its first ever capital campaign "Our Defining Moment." The campaign was a 3-year, $5.2 million campaign that focused on 7 distinct areas to renovate and upgrade the school's academic and athletic facilities. The campaign was completed in June 2018, surpassing its $5.2 million goal.

This campaign provided the school with:

  • New 7,200 square foot wing to house 4 new classrooms, and a brand new acoustically engineered band room with private practice rooms, double the size of its predecessor.
  • New dedicated STEM lab
  • Fully upgraded and updated science labs
  • Faculty professional development
  • Co-curricular program enhancement
  • Facilities improvements including roof replacement, running track replacement, new energy efficient HVAC system, and other upgrades
  • Annual Fund

Campus Locations (1859-Present)[edit]

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 links[edit]