Allaway Dining Hall Opens At Mount Ellis Academy

Mount Ellis Academy (MEA) has always been about family. With about 80 students, the school emphasizes getting to know Jesus, learning in the great outdoors and forming friendships that will last a lifetime. Established in 1902, MEA has a long and rich heritage of successes and struggles. Dubbed the “Miracle School,” MEA today has as much to be thankful for as ever.

Like many academies, MEA has watched its physical plant age and need major repairs. In recent years a master plan was developed to replace three of the five main buildings and to build a church. In late summer of 2005 this plan was put on fast forward after damage from a moderate earthquake. Although earthquake insurance was dropped a few years ago on all denominational property, it was discovered that a clerical error left MEA still covered. This miracle and fundraising that yielded more than $47,000 in donations to date have made a new cafeteria building possible.

On Sunday, Nov. 11, 2007, the opening of the cafeteria was marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a pancake breakfast. Attending were local officials including Gallatin County District Judge Mike Salvagni, Montana State representatives Jack Wells, R-Bozeman and J.P. Pomnichowski, D-Bozeman, as well as Eileen and Melvin Kurtz, daughter and son-in-law of the late Robert and Blanche Allaway, for whom the new structure is named.

The Allaways served MEA for 26 years from 1944–1971 as Shop Instructor/ Maintenance Director and Food service Director, respectively.

Many local builders and suppliers, some with ties to MEA, others who until now barely knew of its existence, chose to give time, funds and building supplies to help with the construction project. Within the next two years MEA hopes to start work on the new dormitory buildings as well as the church.

January 01, 2008 / Montana Conference