The tornado created an immediate need for a new athletic complex. But the idea of expanding athletic facilities has been a priority for St. Mark's since before the storm. In January 2017, the Board of Trustees approved Goals for St. Mark's IV, which included a charge to design, sustain, and provide facilities that support and strengthen the Marksman experience.
A review and update of the campus master plan was already well underway when the tornado hit. Working with campus master planning consultant, Jeff Blanchard, the School had been carefully considering the need to expand our athletic facilities.
These plans were obviously made more urgent by the tornado. Shortly following the storm, the Athletic Center Planning Committee immediately began work to determine how best to plan for the future.
It readily became evident that the challenge ahead also presented a unique opportunity to make a once-in-a-generation investment in the athletic program. Once the scope and scale of the project had been determined, a deliberate plan to fund the project was initiated. The Board maintains a strict policy of breaking ground on new facilities only after all funds for the project have been secured. Thanks to the generosity of several early supporters, St. Mark's has raised roughly two-thirds of the funds needed for the School to break ground.
While the gymnasium, natatorium, and tennis center are certainly the cornerstones of this initiative, the budget for the Athletic Complex encompasses so much more, including:
- Tennis center
- Locker rooms
- Athletic offices
- Meeting rooms
- Expanded parking
- Security & maintenance
- Connected pathways
In addition, the total budget includes estimated costs for technology, equipment, furnishings and fixtures as well as possible contingency, escalation and financing expenses.