Vitale, Dart Break Ground on ODA Student, STEM Centers

Education

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY FRIDAY WEEKEND EDITION FRIDAY AUG 29, 2014

It's math and science time, baby! 

Ground broke Thursday on a new student center and science, technology, engineering and math teaching facility at Out-Of-Door Academy's campus in Lakewood Ranch. On hand for the event were broadcaster Dick Vitale, whose five grandchildren attend the academy and whose name will adorn the student center, as well as Ariane Dart, who directs the Dart Foundation, the organization making the STEM addition possible.

"Education means a great deal to me," Vitale said. "I've been a blessed guy and a lucky guy and I want to extend my hand and make a difference now in someone else's life." Vitale's family was unhand for the groundbreaking and celebration Thursday at the academy, and Vitale took the time to stress the importance in education and in building in youth a sense of dedication and tenacity.

The Dick Vitale Family Student Center should open in summer of 2015. Head of School David Mahler said the center should become the epicenter of student life at the private college prepatory school. Plans include a cyber cafe on the first floor. The Dart Foundation STEM Center will be housed on the second floor.

"This will be enhancing education opportunities for the children all around us," said Dart.

The facility was designed by FleischmanGarcia Architecture and will be built by Willis A. Smith Construction.

Rendering above courtesy Out-Of-Door Academy

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