Bradenton Christian Unveils Sports Complex Plans

Todays News

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY MONDAY BUSINESS EDITION MONDAY MAR 18, 2019

A new sports complex will soon amp up the athletic department at Bradenton Christian School and bring a new amateur facility online in the region.

Bradenton City Council members last week approved the plans to build a two-story complex on the school’s 24-acre 43rd Street campus. The structure will house four courts with locker rooms, a weight room, offices and significant flex space.

"This project is really a blessing from God and a gift of time to our families at BCS," says superintendent Dan Vande Pol. "No longer will we have to start practice as early as 6am and finish practices late into the night as teams struggle to find gym time. This facility allows multiple teams to practice at once, allowing student athletes to then go home and have dinner with their families, prepare for class and just be kids."

And funding for the $19-million facility is well underway, thanks largely to a single donation of $17 million donation, which includes $15 million from the Pentecost Family Foundation plus a $2 million match. The foundation is named for retired coach Mark Pentecost, who stressed the importance a Christian coach can have in athletes’ lives.

Melanie Rosen, communications director for Bradenton Christian, says the school is well on the way to finishing a fundraising effort for the other $2 million. The plan is for construction to start in September and for students to take the court around in the 2020-‘21 school year.

BCS boasts some 32 teams that practice and play on the campus now. But the facilities could prove to be an asset for more than the 862 students at Bradenton Christian. While the complex will exist first for Bradenton Christian, Rosen says there have already been conversations about renting the facilities out. As the region’s reputation as an amateur sports capitol grows, this complex could be one more piece of infrastructure.

The modern complex will boast an air-conditioned skybox-style second-floor viewing area where spectators can view indoor basketball and volleyball games and matches along with outdoor football, baseball and soccer events. The school unveiled renderings from Fawley Bryant Architecture, the firm behind structures at IMG Academy and the renovation of LECOM Park, where the Pittsburgh Pirates hold spring training. Oden Hardy COnstruction and ZNS Engineering will be part of construction.

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