Sarasota Military Academy held a groundbreaking ceremony for new middle SMA Prep Wednesday, Jan. 22.
The future addition to the academy will be located on the corner of Fruitville Rd. and Bethnel Lane, east of I-75.
The middle school will serve sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students and offer the International Baccalaureate’s Middle Years Program.
Howard Crowell, chairman of the SMA board of directors, said the school will give students a three year lead on an excellent education: “We can bring the magic of SMA to an earlier start.”
Plans for SMA Prep began in June 2013 when SMA Founder and Headmaster Dan Kennedy approached project developer Fred Starling.
Since then, the school has found funding, land and support from the Sarasota community. “It takes everybody working together as a team to pull off something this extraordinary,” said Kennedy.
Kennedy hopes SMA Prep will make the transition between middle school and high school easier for new students. Currently he is working with SMA cadets in creating a buddy system between middle and high school students. SMA students share Kennedy's enthusiasm, “We’re all really excited,” said SMA senior and Regimental Commander Shannon Hunihan. “We get to help set up a legacy.”
SMA Prep will begin classes in August 2014.
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