High School Sports

IMG set to move to new grade school campus

BRADENTON — The Pendleton School at IMG Academies grade school is moving to a new campus this fall.

It will consist of four buildings totaling 11,000 square feet on two-and-a-half acres at 4400 El Conquistador Blvd., next to the IMG Golf and Country Club, school leaders said Wednesday. The new school will have the capacity to serve 100 students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.

For years, the grade school served about 50 students each school year on IMG’s main campus, 5500 34th St. W., Bradenton.

“But because our whole school population is growing so quickly, we had to move it to a new location,” said IMG headmaster and founder Rich Odell. “We’ve been growing by 50 to 75 kids per year.”

For the 2010-11 school year, Odell said he expects 150 additional students, meaning an anticipated Pendleton School population of 550.

He chalked up the jump in enrollment to the academy adding lacrosse and football to its list of offerings this past spring.

Unlike the middle and high schools, no sports participation is required for admission to the grade school, Odell said.

“I think the facility they will have and the programs we will offer in terms of sports, organic gardening, art, technology — which are just a few of the programs offered — will make it an exciting environment for a young child to garner those early academic social and physical development skills,” Odell said.

The new campus will also allow for smaller class sizes, which will enable teachers to focus on the needs and learning styles of each child, said Laura Hahn, fifth-grade teacher and elementary school director.

“Just the fact we can have that kind of space, be right next to Sarasota Bay to be able to have our own independent school will be great,” she said.

Renovations are underway to the buildings on the new campus, and are expected to be finished Aug. 1, Odell said.

For enrollment information, call (941) 739-3964, ext. 3611.