IMG Academy to cut ribbon on new residence hall

cschelle@bradenton.comApril 27, 2013 

BRADENTON -- IMG Academy's continued expansion will see a new residence hall for its students by the beginning of June.

The academy, 5500 34th St. West, serves student athletes and functions as a private school for 700 pre-kindergarten through post-graduate studets.

A May 20 ribbon cutting is scheduled to celebrate the newest addition to the campus. The official opening date is May 26 when summer campers will begin moving in. Tandem Construction is the project builder and Fawley Bryant Architects designed the building.

Five hundred full-time students will be housed in the dorms starting in the fall, but summer campers descending on IMG will be the first to call the dorms home with 1,000 athletes expected to roam the halls, according to IMG. The $15 million hall is also designed to increase the student head count to 1,300 from 818, said Chip McCarthy, director of planning and development and IMG chief financial officer.

The dorm is being built on the west side of campus at the end of 47th Street West, on the former football fields. The five-story residence hall includes a student lounge on the first floor and study and laundry rooms on each floor, according to IMG.

It is unclear if the residence hall will have a name. A Facebook page created by friends of the tennis program is trying to get the new dorm named for legendary tennis coach and the tennis academy's founder Nick Bollettieri, whose name is already on the tennis academy, a walking path and other areas around IMG. The page has 113 likes.

IMG is in the midst of a $36 million, 100-plus acre expansion, including a 5,000-seat multi-sport stadium, a new track and field area and a 40,000-square-foot field house to open in two phases later this year. The expansion brings the campus to a total of nearly 500 acres, according to IMG spokespeople.

Tandem and Fawley Bryant are also working on the overall expansion project.

Charles Schelle, business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @ImYourChuck.

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