Dear St. John’s Community,
In 2015, St. John’s purchased a significant parcel of land adjacent to our Plant Avenue (Middle School) campus with the long-term vision of building a state-of-the-art facility commensurate with our academics. The terms of the agreement allow us to break ground at that site in the fall of 2020, giving us time to thoughtfully plan and raise the necessary capital to transform the facilities for the benefit of both the Church and School.
The year 2020 will be upon on us quickly, and our planning has started in earnest. The project will include a brand-new facility at the Plant Avenue campus that will provide an innovative learning environment for children in grades 2 – 8. The project will also include a complete renovation to the interior of our Orleans facility, not only restoring much-needed space to the parish, but also providing a space uniquely suited to our youngest learners in grades K(4) – 1. We are still analyzing our options for the Rome property going forward, including a possible sale. Regardless, this plan allows us to provide the same age-appropriate environment and culture that our three separate campuses have enabled, while at the same time bringing that same student population into two campuses thereby making it easier to navigate multiple locations. By reducing the number of students in Hyde Park, we also address the traffic and parking concerns of those neighbors while at the same time providing Church-centered meeting, educational and community spaces to be used for our thriving congregation.
The above vision gives you the broad brush strokes of the project, with the finer details to be painted in over time through meetings with parishioners, administrators, teachers, parents, alumni, and various consultants. We hope to fund the project through a capital campaign that will start in the fall of 2019, for which your support is critical. While much is yet to be determined, please be assured that we are committed to completing the project in phases devised to impact the fewest number of students, parishioners, and neighbors for the shortest time possible.
These are exciting times for our School, our Church, and for Tampa more generally. As our community grows increasingly global and technologically advanced, our facilities must keep pace. With unique and prime space sitting adjacent to downtown, St. John’s is poised to participate in and leverage off of the ongoing revitalization of Tampa’s urban core. For nearly 70 years, St. John’s graduates have gone on to be leaders in the Tampa community. As Tampa grows and thrives, St. John’s is called upon to continue to provide our community with those who have the strength of character and necessary skills to lead. We eagerly rise to that challenge.