Bradenton Prep building sold to Inspiration Academy owners

cschelle@bradenton.comSeptember 13, 2013 

MANATEE -- The former Bradenton Prepatory Academy has officially been sold to a Bradenton couple for $3.6 million.

The former private school, 7900 40th Ave. W., Bradenton, was sold by GTE Federal Credit Union to Clairebear Properties LLC, registered to Claire and Jason Eddie Speir. The couple opened a Christian high school called Inspiration Academy earlier this month.

The 44,644-square-foot school sits on 11 acres and was once home to Bradenton Prepatory Academy, which lost the building to foreclosure after it defaulted on a refinanced mortgage in 2010 to GTE.

The Speirs used a $2.8 million mortgage from GTE to finance the deal, according to Clerk of the Court property records. The property was valued at $4.4 million this year, according to Manatee County Property Appraiser records.

Speir, a Colorado native, alongwith his wife, Claire, and three children moved to Bradenton three years ago, buying the former home of free agent Major League Baseball pitcher Jamie Moyer in 2011, in order to send his children to nearby IMG Academy.

Speir is an entrepreneur whose background includes information technology for a company called 3t Systems as well as being the producer of a movie based on the life of Christian singer Rich Mullins called "Ragamuffin."

Speir told the Herald in August why he wanted to open the school.

"Lauren, why am I opening a school again?" Speir jokingly asked his assistant, Lauren Enriquez.

"Because you are a God-fearing man and you do as asked," Enriquez replied. "This is your calling."

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

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