Plans are moving ahead for establishment of an academy for young athletes at the Glenfir school site in Summerland.
The B.C. Youth Baseball Legacy Complex has signed a Letter of Intent to purchase the former Glenfir Independent School in Summerland to establish an international baseball and softball academy. The announcement was made this week by Robin Harden, president of the BCYBLC, following seven years of work on the project.
The school is to be redeveloped as a co-educational college prep baseball/softball sport academy for students in Grades 9 through 12. Doors would open in the fall of this year.
The academy will offer day and full board programs. The academy will provide a comprehensive and complete educational program to each student leading to graduation following the B.C. Ministry of Education guidelines. Students will be assessed academically upon application and course loads designed for each student.
International recruiting focus is on students entering Grade 9. It allows a base year to focus on any special educational needs including English as a second language to ensure students are prepared entering the Grade 10 to 12 graduation requirements.
The 3,700 square metre educational facility is located on 6.9 hectares at the foot of Giants Head Mountain.
The property includes a natural running trail around the perimeter, multi-purpose court for tennis, basketball, ball hockey, a mountain bike course and a 930 square metre gymnasium with a rock climbing wall.
“The owners have maintained the facility and grounds in pristine condition and the facility rounds out an important part of the overall BCYBLC vision for student athletes to move on to higher learning through sport,” said Harden.
“We wanted flexibility in terms of classroom size, scheduling and baseball programming. Given the modern technology of the school and provided student laptops, even while teams are on the road they can maintain their studies.”
The existing sports field would be converted to a spring training type facility including outdoor baseball/softball practice fields and practice infield.
Students would move indoors to the proposed Justin Morneau Athletic Centre once weather becomes inclement.
The B C Y B L C advisory group has visited the school and proposed site, met with architects and visited Alberta-based Sprung Structures facility to finalize design of the proposed Justin Morneau Athletic Centre.
The advisory group has structured both baseball and softball core programming and scheduling.
G. Craig Dunbar will be developing the school’s academic profile over the next two months. With more than 35 years experience in public and private education, Dunbar brings strong organizational skills and experience to the academy.
“We are extremely fortunate to work with Craig given his background and tenure with Glenfir private school. He is familiar with both the physical school and the independent setting. We could not have found a more suited person to lead us forward.”
A scholarship program was launched Jan. 1.
“Through the program it is hoped to provide 68 full board scholarships to the academy. Available scholarships would be open to Canadian resident high school student athletes. Depending on the success of the program, additional scholarships would extend to B.C. student athletes pursuing higher education through the sport.”
Of the scholarships, 40 would be for baseball and 28 for softball.
The BCYBLC also has a purchase option on 37 hectares on the Summerland-Princeton Road for a baseball legacy complex.