The King's Academy dedicates first new building in nearly half a century
The realization of one vision may just be the beginning at The King’s Academy.
Strolling through the Lions’ new athletic jewel minutes before its grand opening, athletic director Marc Weekly was already imagining the future. In the classroom space above the main athletic floor of the 18,000 square foot Polly Enix Tibbetts Building, Weekly described cameras that could be piped into classroom projecters, allowing players and coaches to review film almost instantaneously. Outside those classrooms on a corner of a second-floor walkway, Weekly talks about replacing a wall withplexiglass and turning the area into a “skybox” to watch baseball games on the neighboring field.
“Today signifies so many different things,” Weekly said. “It’s a vision from 18 months ago when I started to collaboration of the whole school, moving forward both academically and athletically. I would’ve loved for it to be done sooner, but it’s just part of it.We’re so thankful to be in this building.”
The dedication of TKA’s first new edifice in nearly half a century could be just the beginning of a renaissance at the school. Weekly, who also leads fundraising efforts as TKA’s development officer, has already overseen the construction of a new softball field and renovations to the football locker and weight rooms. The Lions have become work on a new, soccer-only facility and headmaster Walter Grubb said on Tuesday the school would like to move forward with plans to construct new classroom space for mathematics and science, including laboratories.
“We’re really embracing a vision for the future and throughout the ceremony I kept hearing and thinking myself, ‘We’re just starting,’ ” Grubb said. “We’re so blessed. We have 67 acres of land. It is a debt-free campus. There are schools who would just love to be in this situation. We are poised to grow.”
Like the rest of campus, TKA’s newest addition is entirely paid for. Weekly said the building cost a little over $900,000, all covered by private donations. It will serve as the school’s primary basketball gym while also housing offices, two classrooms and meeting space.
The building can be used as an indoor facility for baseball and softball teams (Weekly said his softball team would be hitting in the cages there today) and could be used by the football team for walkthroughs in inclement weather.
“It’s exciting for me as someone who came from a bigger, 5A school, and you saw some of the things that had been laying dormant,” said football coach Matt Lowe, who led Powell to a state championship game in 2011. “Marc and Mr. Grubb and (principal) Mr. (LeRoy) Beam, they sold me on that vision, that we’re committed to changing things. We’re committed to not only having an unbelievable Christian education, one that’s among the tops in the entire state, but we’ve got to bring the athletics along with it.”
That message of academics going hand-in-hand with athletics was loud and clear on Tuesday. With one construction site, the Lions addressed significant needs for both classroom and athletic space brought on by a rising enrollment. Graduating senior AdamDeatherage, who starred for both the football and basketball teams, said the new building was unfathomable when he arrived in Seymour six years ago.
“It’s amazing, just how big it is and all the different things,” Deatherage said. “It’s awesome how so many people are going to use it in so many different ways.”