Members of Marco Island Academy’s board of directors and the school’s major donors celebrated what was a momentous seven day period recently at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort’s newest restaurant, Tesoro.
The reason for festivities was the influx of millions of dollars in donations over about one week that will enable MIA to build its permanent campus all at once, rather than in three phases. A groundbreaking ceremony for the $12.5 million project was held recently at the school’s San Marco Road campus. The school has utilized portable modular buildings since 2013.
Plans had called for construction of just Phase One to begin in June. Reaching the fundraising goal of $4.5 million by June 1 for that phase was in doubt until a $1 million donation from Myrt Rose was received mere days before the May 15 groundbreaking. Her gift was soon followed by donations of another roughly $3 million in less than a week, making construction of the entire project possible, although fundraising is still continuing.
The cocktail party was hosted by Marco’s JW Marriott, which also contributed funds that enabled the change in plans.
The resort’s general manager, Sharon Lockwood, said she was inspired by the outpouring of financial support from the school’s benefactors.
“From my perspective, the fact that our students are going to be safe and they’re building a campus that they can be proud of for generations to come; to be part of this is a dream come true not only for me, but for the entire community of Marco Island,” she said. “I couldn’t be more proud to have just a small part of the success of this school.”