Remembering Utica Free Academy
It is an imposing structure at the corner of Kemble and Hobart Streets in Utica and for nearly 100 years it was home to the Titans of Utica Free Academy or, more affectionately, UFA. The building opened to students in 1899 and over the years rose from the ashes of fire, was added to and modified and eventually closed as a school and re-opened as the Loretto assisted living facility. The school has a rich history.
Malio Cardarelli author of many books on the city of Utica wrote a thorough history of UFA called “Cornerstone of Pride”. In it he wrote that the city’s population decrease during the 60′s and 70′s lessened the need for more than one high school and that the UFA location was not the most convenient. Thus,
By 1993 the Kemble Street facility was sold at auction and the building itself postured to become an assisted-living campus for senior citizens with facilities for skilled nursing services for those in need of special care. It opened in the summer of 1995, known as the Loretto Utica Center, administering to the opposite end of the age scale than it did when it was a high school. And, thus Utica Free Academy was no more.