Since it was chartered in 1798, Milton Academy has enjoyed a mutually beneficial and supportive relationship with the Town of Milton. Milton Academy continues to be committed to being a good neighbor and contributing to the Town of Milton community. As a not-for-profit educational institution, we are aware of the many ways public services provided by the Town benefit the health and safety of students, faculty and staff. More than 20 percent of the Academy’s students hail from the Town of Milton, and nearly 80 employees live in Milton (not on campus); as such, fostering this mutually beneficial environment is also important to affiliated families. In addition to voluntarily paying taxes on multiple residential parcels and for the streetlights that run through our campus, the Academy provides substantial direct and indirect contributions to the Town, including cash and item donations, meeting and event hosting, and athletic facilities usage. This report shares more about the ways in which the Academy specifically supported the Town of Milton across 2016–17.
The Academy voluntarily paid approximately $109,000 in property taxes in 2016–17, largely related to properties used for faculty residences. All residential properties acquired since 1986, as well as certain other properties acquired as early as 1925 according to Town records, are included in this figure. While not legally obligated to do so, the Academy has purposefully kept these properties on the tax rolls to ensure that the Academy’s residential program would not negatively impact the Town’s finances. The residential tax is billed by the town quarterly and reflects annual increases, including any overrides.
In addition, since mid-1999, the Academy has paid for the energy costs of the street lights that run along Centre Street from our main campus to our east campus. In 2016-17, the Academy paid $8,390 directly to Eversource for these lights.
Cash donations provided directly to the Town and other local organizations totaled approximately $30,000 in 2016–17. These figures have increased in recent years as the Academy recovered from the 2009 financial crisis. To ensure that the gifts given can be of a meaningful size and high impact, the Academy is specifically focused on giving to organizations with missions aligned with that of the Academy. The following organizations received cash donations of $1,000 or more from the Academy in 2016-17:
Milton Foundation for Education
Milton Library Foundation
Town of Milton Fire Department
Town of Milton Police Department
Milton Playground Planners
Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton
Access to the Academy’s facilities has been a long tradition between the Town and the school, reducing the need for the Town to build or maintain additional recreation and park areas. Outdoor access to the Academy’s track, tennis courts, and fields is provided for free. Use of facilities such as the ice rink, squash courts, and outdoor pool is provided on a fee basis, typically discounted, to community organizations and individuals. Town youth sports—including lacrosse, softball, and ice hockey—have usage agreements with the Academy that together comprise hundreds of hours.
To avoid impacting Town resources, the Academy uses well water for cooling towers and irrigation. The Academy also privately contracts for trash, recycling and composting. Public sidewalks adjacent to Academy property are plowed by the Academy’s facilities services department.
The Academy maintains a 24/7 Campus Safety department. The department includes a team of 17 Campus Safety Officers, five of whom maintain Massachusetts EMT certification. There are generally two Academy cruisers patrolling the campus grounds and surrounding area that handle all campus traffic and incidents. Campus Safety enjoys a good working relationship with the Milton Police and Fire departments, offering personnel and equipment when requested in emergency situations (typically for road blocks and traffic control). Back-up is also provided by Campus Safety during Town events, such as Celebrate Milton, the Milton Music Festival, and Fireworks; safe zones are provided during the Milton Road Race. Town departments are invited to all training opportunities offered on campus; Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council SWAT and area fire departments use the Academy’s campus for training.
When the Town has requested it, the Academy has financially contributed to major infrastructure projects that are adjacent to or otherwise benefit the Academy (see appendix for a list of previous projects).
Events and Other Benefits
Beyond the access provided to the Academy’s athletic facilities (see Infrastructure Support section above), the Academy:
Hosts multiple outside events and meetings on campus each year.
These include cultural events and nationally recognized speakers, which are free and open to the public (e.g., the Nantucket Project, the U.S. Surgeon General), private events in support of local organizations (e.g., Milton Library Foundation Fundraising Dinner), and regular meetings (e.g., AA meetings). The Academy also has three college fairs each year which are open to all Town residents.
Facilitates Community Engagement Programs and Partnerships.
Over 200 students have weekly commitments to partner organizations, including the Winter Valley residence, Milton elementary schools, animal shelter, food pantry, and the Milton-Quincy Mustangs Special Olympics team practices. Another 250 students participate in other activities such as Special Olympics tournaments, blood drives, and holiday giving events (including the Milton Residents Fund). The Community Engagement Program also holds a biennial Community Engagement day, where hundreds of volunteers participate in outdoor clean-up projects with Milton institutions such as the hospital, Department of Public Works, Parks & Recreation department, Council on Aging, and the Blue Hills Reservation (Houghton’s Pond, Trailside Museum, Brookwood Farm). In addition, a handful of senior projects each year indirectly or directly benefit the Town. For example, in 2016–17, senior projects included a documentary about the Milton Food Pantry and its clients; an analysis of fishing at Turner’s Pond; and volunteering at a local day care, the Cunningham elementary school, and the hospital.
Offers the Saturday Course.
Open to motivated fourth through eighth graders with strong academic skills, students attend the Academy for enrichment opportunities on Saturdays. Saturday Course faculty use the Academy’s classrooms, libraries, art studios, and science and computer laboratories to deliver a wide-ranging curriculum focused on inquiry and research skills. The program reserves more spots for Milton residents than for residents of other surrounding towns; 236 students from the Town registered for the program in the 2016-17 school year.
Maintains a Child Care Center.
The Academy’s childcare center, contracted with Bright Horizons, is open to residents of the Town of Milton after Milton Academy Faculty and Staff enrollment.
Operates the Nesto Gallery.
Free and open to the public, the Nesto gallery hosts six professional art shows annually. www.milton.edu/arts/nesto-gallery
Welcomes the public to student performances and art shows.
Adding to the Town’s cultural opportunities, the 2016–17 school year included four main stage productions, two dance concerts, three studio plays, multiple orchestra, jazz, and choral concerts, and four major student art shows, all free to the public. Further information is available at:
Milton Academy is one of Milton’s largest employers, with approximately 360 full-time employees; an additional 100 employees are part-time, per-diem, or seasonal. In 2016–17, the Academy paid approximately $14.7M in salaries and benefits to 200 employees who live in the Town of Milton. Of these, approximately 80 live in privately owned residences, not on Academy property.
In addition to being a large employer, Milton Academy contracts with many Milton small businesses. In the 2016–17 fiscal year, the Academy paid approximately $670,000 to Milton businesses and organizations for services such as landscaping, construction, photography, and catering.
The Academy’s resident faculty and boarding populations (~320 students) regularly patronize local businesses, as do thousands of annual campus visitors. Every year, several families already enrolled at the Academy purchase homes in Milton in order to be closer to the campus.
Services Received from the Town of Milton
The Academy benefits from certain services provided by the Town; in recognition of these benefits, the Academy is focused on supporting the Town in the ways described above. As noted above, the Academy has financially contributed, upon request by the Town, to major infrastructure projects that are adjacent to or otherwise benefit the Academy (see appendix for a list of previous projects).
Annual benefits received from the Town include road maintenance and plowing, traffic lights, police, fire, and access to ambulance services. In addition, the Academy estimates that 33 children living on Academy property attended Town of Milton public schools in 2016–17, compared with nearly 210 students with Town (non-Academy property) addresses who attended the Academy and received over $1M in financial aid. The Mary C. Lane Playground lot is used for overflow parking during very large Academy events, and the Academy’s Middle School typically uses the field for a few baseball games each year, by advance arrangement. The Upper School football team and/or field hockey team uses Milton High School’s field a couple times each year, also by advance arrangement.
Certain services received from the Town of Milton are paid for directly; these include water/sewer fees, stormwater fees, service fees to the police and fire departments (e.g., in support of special events), and building department and permit fees. In addition, as noted above under “Infrastructure Support,” the Academy has taken specific steps to reduce its impact on Town resources.
About the Academy
Milton Academy was chartered in 1798 by the Massachusetts legislature and is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Focused on academic excellence and a commitment to developing strong, independent thinkers, the Academy strives to create an experientially and economically diverse student body. In 2016–17, over 1,000 students were enrolled from 28 states and 27 countries. Students range in age from Kindergarten through Grade 12, with boarding also offered for students Grades 9-12. Approximately 30 percent of students receive financial aid.
During the summer months, the Academy serves as the home to the Steppingstone Foundation, which prepares motivated Boston Public School students for enrollment at highly selective schools and improves readiness for college. In addition, the Academy provides a base of operations for other independently run sports camps and clinics; in 2016–17, these included lacrosse, basketball, and conditioning programs.
The Academy sits on approximately 133 acres. Most of this property originally was farmland; as such, Town records indicate that the campus has remained about the same size for many years.
Academy Financial Contributions to Recent Town Infrastructure Projects
When the Town has requested it, the Academy has financially contributed to major infrastructure projects that are adjacent to or otherwise benefit the Academy.
Academy Direct and Indirect Financial Contributions to the Town of Milton, 2016-17
Any inquiries related to this report should be directed to the Milton Academy Communication office at 617-898-2393.
Please note that all data in this report is based on the 2016-17 school year.