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General News: Deal Announced to Keep NYMA Open

NYMA dominated the headlines in 2010.
July 03, 2010

A deal has been reached to keep the New York Military Academy open next September.

The board of trustees of the 121-year-old military institution in Cornwall, N.Y. announced on Saturday that it had reached a tentative agreement with a group of alumni and two local businessmen, Joseph Bonura and Wayne Corts, who will provide the necessary funding to open the school for the 2010/11 school year “and thereafter.”

According to the trustees, the deal will be finalized when a final loan is closed on or about July 9th.

The future of NYMA has been on the line since late April, when the trustees announced that operations would be suspended and a permanent closure of the school could follow if they did not find a solution to a multi-million dollar debt load. With a June 30th deadline looming to pay off a $1.5 million loan, the board signed this agreement with Corts, Bonura and the alumni group called NYMA 2.0 that had developed the rescue package.

Local Businessmen and Alumni Part of the Solution

NYMA 2.0 has been working with the board of trustees for more than a month trying to resolve the academy’s fiscal problems. This past Monday, Corts, Bonura and alumni David Fields presented the outlines of a financing plan to the town of Cornwall board. That plan included a loan of $5.8 million to NYMA and a proposal to subdivide the NYMA property along Faculty Road where there are both undeveloped land and 11 existing houses.

In its announcement, the board of trustees did not report the specifics of the deal except to say that it will satisfy existing lenders and creditors and provide some of the funding to push forward in a new academic year.

"A Second Chance to Change Course"

Rich Pezzullo, a NYMA alumni and active member of the NYMA 2.0 group was heartened by the announcement. "“Rarely in life do we get a second chance to change course – this is one of those times,” he said. “I salute the courage and vision of the outgoing and incoming boards.”

The NYMA board of trustees also noted that there will be a smooth transition of the board’s membership to include the investors and alumni members who developed the proposal.

Details of the Agreement Still Unclear

Earlier this week, alumni Fields along with Corts and Bonura both indicated they were likely to be included on the re-shaped NYMA board. In addition, town councilman Randy Clark has also been approved by his colleagues to join the board. The fate of the town’s proposal to buy all or some of the NYMA property is unclear at this time.

In its statement, the board of trustees noted that “the agreement comes as exciting news for the communities of Cornwall and Cornwall-on-Hudson, as well as the parents, faculty, alumni and current students of the Academy, who were facing the potential closure of the institution they have come to call home.”


So happy to learn that NYMA has survived this ordeal. The school is so essential to the character and beauty of this delightful small town.

posted by kathleen mulrenin downs on 07/03/10 at 5:45 PM

Amen. For more than just the obvious, this is a tremendously positive turn of events. The Bonura Family has invested a lifetime in their community and Joe's business savvy is a priceless addition to the NYMA BOD. Thank you Joe, Mr. Corts and all the folks who worked so hard to ensure a second chance.

posted by Regina McGrade on 07/03/10 at 5:52 PM

Can someone clarify if this is the same Wayne Corts that was involved in the ACE farm deal?

posted by j h on 07/03/10 at 8:30 PM

Read a 2004 article about Wayne Corts here:

posted by Rachael Skigen on 07/03/10 at 11:27 PM

5.8 million to develop faculty road sounds like a short term fix.

posted by thom munterich on 07/04/10 at 8:51 AM

its here

posted by j h on 07/04/10 at 10:08 AM

Looks like we have a wolf in sheep's clothing as one of the "saviors" of NYMA.
What initially appeared to be goods news is now confirmation that the town of Cornwall residents are about to get scammed.....where is the town board in all this? Who is going to share in the $1,000,000.00 "finder's fee" this time?
What a disgrace!

posted by Gerry Wagner on 07/04/10 at 10:53 AM

After reading the new article from it would appear that Mr. Corts has a history that may somehow affect all of us here in Cornwall and Cornwall on Hudson. Thank you for saving the school but if it is only part of a plan to hurt our community in the future than may your "finders fee" cushion your stay when you seek your eternal reward.

posted by on 07/04/10 at 1:40 PM

Looks like a potential "Conflict of Interest" to me. How can you be on a non-profit board and also be doing self-dealing as well? Furthermore, once you break out the lots and sell off the faculty housing, you are now entering the realm of the "Fair Housing Act" which I would recommend concerned readers to Google so they understand what the legal ramifications are when selling residential real estate. This could very well be the "Trojan Horse" that we should open up and look inside of.

posted by PETER MALONE on 07/04/10 at 3:09 PM

Are there any straight-forward, honest people involved in this deal? What are you hiding about this plan? Who is the mystery third investor and why don?t you want to be known? The reason for the failure of NYMA is the back door deals, interest only in self-enrichment and a complete lack of ability to manage a business. Forget the Fair Housing Act. When the property is sold, any regulations will become the responsibility of the new owners. Where will the students be housed? Will they have athletic facilities? What kind of high school experience are you going to have without these things? Most importantly, where will your students come from if you can only guarantee one year before new financial problems set in? This has nothing to do with saving NYMA or the face of your town. This has everything to do with a few insiders raking in the dough. God bless America!

posted by Shirley Sattler on 07/04/10 at 5:33 PM

The only thing that will save Cornwall is forming a village of the whole town. But the people will have to do it themselves, just as it was done in Woodbury. Don't sit back and wait for the politicians to save Cornwall.

posted by mary ferraro on 07/06/10 at 9:13 PM

The Alumni have been working very hard for MONTHS to keep the school open. For those who think it's a big scam for their pockets, have you put in the time or money that they have? Don't assume the worst in the only people who have turned the school around and are keeping it open!

posted by Kristen Gerlach on 07/16/10 at 8:11 PM

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