PROGRESS

View a live feed from the site of the future Marksman Athletic Complex.



STRENGTHENING ATHLETICS

The Athletic Complex Project will bring together new state-of-the-art buildings and facilities that will strengthen St. Mark’s commitment to excellence, enabling every Marksman to reach his full potential on the playing field, and more importantly, in life. 

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  • 77,000

    square-foot facility

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  • 850

    gymnasium seating capacity

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  • 12

    swimming lanes in the pool

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  • 8

    acres of campus under redevelopment

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Gymnasium

A new state-of-the-art competition gymnasium will serve as the home court for the varsity Lions, carrying forward the legacy of the Hicks Athletic Center. The 850-seat venue will also provide multi-use space for large gatherings and community events, in addition to supporting physical education programs for Marksmen across all three divisions of the School.

Natatorium

A modern natatorium will feature a 30-meter by 25-yard swimming pool, significantly strengthening St. Mark’s aquatics programs. The collegiate-level pool will enable the Lions to host local, regional and national competitions for both swimming and water polo, with large second-floor spectator seating, carrying forward a longstanding history of excellence.

Al G. Hill, Sr. Family Tennis Center

Located at the far northeastern edge of the campus and immediately adjacent to the new indoor facility, the Al G. Hill, Sr. Family Tennis Center will be home to six high-performance courts, enabling the Lions to continue their longstanding tradition of excellence. This modern competition facility will also include a new spectator grandstand.

Community Life

Connecting the gymnasium and natatorium will be a two-story atrium filled with natural light for Marksmen to congregate, learn from one another and strengthen friendships. Much like the Alumni Commons and Winn Science Center atrium, the new Athletic Complex will provide many areas for student athletes, coaches, parents, alumni and other community members to come together for games, meetings, events and other important gatherings.

A Community Space

The second-floor Alumni Room will give graduates a place to gather when they return to campus, as many frequently do, in addition to serving as a large meeting space for students, faculty and parents. Visitors can walk onto a terrace overlooking the Norma & Lamar Hunt Family Stadium.

Connecting Campus

The Athletic Complex is designed to serve as another community hub, seamlessly fitting into the larger campus. Able to host multiple simultaneous games, the Complex's pathways and multiple entrances will allow foot traffic to flow naturally. A concession stand also serves both the interior and exterior of the Complex.

Athletic Excellence

St. Mark’s student athletes and coaches will prepare for competition in new state-of-the-art locker rooms for all indoor and outdoor varsity sports, leveraging the most advanced technology to support high performance. The new building will also include improved meeting spaces for teams, coaches, guests and other members of the School community. The second floor will feature offices for the director and associate director of Athletics, a multipurpose team meeting room, several conference rooms, and a large alumni room with a terrace overlooking Hunt Stadium.

Beyond Athletics

In addition to a major investment in our sports programs, the Athletic Complex Project will support a number of other important priorities, including expanded resources for campus safety, security and long-term maintenance. Additional infrastructure improvements will feature an integrated storm shelter, revisions to campus parking, new pedestrian walkways and further enhancements to campus landscaping.

AN AMBITIOUS PROJECT

OCTOBER 20, 2019

On the morning of October 20, 2019, St. Mark’s was struck by an EF-3 tornado that cut a path of damage across North Texas. The north side of campus took the brunt of the blow, resulting in major damage to nearly every building and the total loss of the Thomas O. Hicks Family Athletic Center and Albert G. Hill Tennis Center. But amid the destruction, there was also an opportunity to build upon the School’s already solid foundation. 

Shortly after the tornado in 2019, the Board of Trustees formed the Athletic Center Committee, tasked with determining the best way to replace Hicks Gym and renew the northeast quadrant of campus. Led by Carl Sewell III ’02, this Committee moved quickly, meeting with numerous design firms, consultants, and experts and ultimately selecting CannonDesign.

LOOKING BACK

ST. MARK'S STRONG

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:

  • Gymnasium
  • Natatorium
  • Tennis center
  • Locker rooms
  • Athletic offices
  • Meeting rooms
  • Concessions
  • Expanded parking
  • Security & maintenance
  • Connected pathways
  • Landscaping

In addition, the total budget includes estimated costs for technology, equipment, furnishings and fixtures as well as possible contingency, escalation and financing expenses.

Project Announcement Video (Oct. 2022)

    • The Committee reviews updated renderings from CannonDesign.

PROJECT PARTNERS

  • CannonDesign
  • Counsilman-Hunsaker & Associates
  • Beck Architecture
  • Blanchard Group
  • Legends
  • Beck Construction
  • RLG Engineers

INSPIRING SUPPORT

The Athletic Complex Project is coming into focus thanks in large part to a number of devoted St. Mark’s community members who have made generous commitments towards the facility. The following excerpts were taken from a larger article in the upcoming issue of The Pride magazine.

CARL SEWELL ’02

Chair, Athletic Complex Planning Committee
Member, Board of Trustees (2015 – present)
Member, Executive Committee (2016 – present)
After something like the tornado, it may have been easier just to build a new gymnasium, but at St. Mark’s we don’t make one- or two-year decisions, we make fifty-year decisions. We take the time to look over the horizon to ensure we serve all of our programmatic needs at the highest possible level.

I have always believed that athletics are a cornerstone of the whole boy mission of St. Mark’s. Learning how to compete with grit and determination, learning how to work as a team, and learning how to win the right way are all incredibly important life skills. This project demonstrates our community’s strong commitment to athletics. 

KATHY CROW

President, Board of Trustees (2020–2022)
Member, Board of Trustees (2003 – present)
With this project, our aim was to build a building that would be formative in making good men, athletic leaders, successful teams and strong coaches while unifying a supportive and encouraging community. We wanted to emphasize the character-building aspects of athletics that transcend the athletics program itself.

We envisioned a facility that would elevate these character traits and we used this inspiration as the foundation for motivating the design of this new Athletic Complex. This building will be a focal point of our athletics program, helping students develop a sense of confidence, self-esteem, sportsmanship, teamwork, leadership, and cooperation that will prepare them to meet the challenges both on and off the field as Marksmen.

WAN KIM

Trustee (2021 – present)
When the opportunity was presented to support the Athletic Complex at St. Mark’s, I viewed it as an opportunity for me to bring my passion for living an active lifestyle to support not only my own son but all the students of St. Mark’s.

My commitment to this project is driven by a simple but powerful message that I learned from my father: give back, be active in your community and help others build a better life. 

PAUL GENENDER ’87

Secretary, Board of Trustees
Member, Executive Committee (2019 – present)
Former President, Alumni Board
The new Athletic Complex will further the School’s mission to educate the whole boy and benefit Marksmen for decades to come, recognizing that lifelong lessons are learned not only in the classroom but also on the court and in the water.

St. Mark’s has always been about the long term and planning for the future. This Athletic Complex is consistent with those priorities. While the immediate need was prompted by the tornado, this complex is being built for the long term. Simply stated, the Athletic Center is an investment in the boys.

PAST ARTICLES

October 2022
The Wisenbaker, Wikert and Hill families make a gift to inspire further support for the Athletic Complex Project.

PROJECT TIMELINE

STUDENT VOICES



Arjun Khatti ’23 interviews Roland Lemke, design principal for CannonDesign. 

Students talk with key administrators, coaches and architects about what to expect in the Athletic Complex.

COMPETING WITH CHARACTER

"We are proud to have a strong athletic program that is committed to excellence, but the true measure of our program’s success is watching the boys excel in the years ahead as a result of their meaningful athletic experiences at St. Mark’s."
– Sean Lissemore
Director of Athletics
As a whole, Lion athletes are extraordinarily talented and successful. But this success is not the only goal of the coaches, trainers and teachers. In every practice, game and interaction, the faculty strive to transform these boys into men of character first and foremost. But the lessons inherent in building a successful man — discipline, sacrifice, trust, commitment to purpose — often lead to a successful athlete.

By focusing on the development of character first and foremost, St. Mark’s transforms boys into good men, who then can become great teammates.

“At St. Mark's, we are not solely focused on winning and losing; rather, it is how we win and lose that truly defines our athletic program,” Lissemore said. “With that being said, character, integrity and discipline are the essential building blocks of any successful team and certainly go hand and hand with winning in competitive sports.”

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  • 13

    SPC Athletic Directors' Cups won in the past 16 years
  • 57

    Marksmen playing college sports in 2022-2023
  • 85%

    Upper School students who play at least one sport each year
St. Mark's School of Texas
10600 Preston Road
Dallas, TX 75230-4047
214-346-8000
smtexas.org