SOUTH TAMPA – Ground was broken recently for the $5 million multipurpose education and athletic centers at St. Mary’s Episcopal Day School.
The facility will include classrooms for bands and middle school curriculum courses, expanded gymnasium space, two full-sized practice courts, improved locker rooms, offices, restrooms, after-school care space, indoor and patio dining areas and other amenities.
“This will allow us to deliver more wonderful programs,” headmaster Scott Laird said after a 15-minute groundbreaking ceremony on Dec. 12. “It ties our entire campus together and enhances all our programs.”
The school, at 2101 S. Hubert Ave., was founded in 1952 and serves 450 students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. This will result in all buildings being less than 13 years old.
Alumni Preston and Laura Farrior, classes of 1980 and 1981, have headed a capital campaign, Team Up for Tomorrow, for the project. They were both students when the original gymnasium was built. Since then, their three children have also attended – their youngest being in eighth grade this year.
“This plan all came from the strategic plan,” Laura Farrior said.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by supporters, selected students and the Bishop Dabney Smith of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida, who offered blessings for the site and the construction.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn also participated and said after the ceremony that such improvements, “whether they be in private or public schools are giving kids more structure. It is a place they can be positive and creative.”