IMG Academy Is Now More Than Star Athletes


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, February 24th, 2016 – IMG Academy is now not only developing star athletes in various sport disciplines like football, tennis, baseball, golf, basketball and soccer. More recently, it has also started improving its academic learning programs and facilities that in the process is further bolstering its role as economic driver in the Bradenton area including its housing sector.

At the heart of this IMG’s thrust to reinvent itself is an $11.5 million Academic Center which is part of a $22 million expansion of this student-athletes’ boarding school in southwest Bradenton. This three-story, 70,000-square-foot center was opened last August in time for the 2015-206 school year, the first time that IMG students from grades pre-K 12 through the postgraduate programs will hold classes in one building.

More and Better Teachers

IMG Academy Is Now More Than Star Athletes

Its main features include 70 classrooms which hold not more than 20 students with some good for as few as 12 in keeping the small class size the school prefers. The building also boasts of a media center with a computer lab, four science labs, and four art labs.

Pivotal to the school’s recent emphasis on academic learning for its student athletes is a change in the ownership of the institution’s parent company, the global sports and talent management concern International Management Group (IMG), a few years back.

According to IMG co-managing director Chip McCarthy, the ownership change allowed school administrators to invest in its academic environment with advance placement (AP) programs and honors classes added to the curriculum. The school has likewise allocated $500,000 for hiring more and better qualified teachers.

Recognized Economic Driver

As a result, IMG’s expansion is fueling job creation, said co-managing director Greg Philips, adding that the school besides having topnotch coaches now has more tutors and more teachers for academic subjects. Now employing over 800 personnel, the school and its operations also have a multiplier effect that is being explored under the “Build Bradenton Area Plan,” a multi-year blueprint of the Bradenton Economic Development Council. This plan seeks to develop a cluster of related businesses in and around the IMG Academy’s campus. On a broader scale, the EDC seeks to create within Bradenton the country’s best sports performance sector.

IMG as an economic driver has likewise been recognized by the Florida legislature which approved in 2013 and 2014 a total of $7 million funding in support of IMG’s expansion projects. An additional $2 million state allocation for 2015 was vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott last summer, but Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Sarasota), during a visit to the school this January, indicated that he is open to exploring federal funding possibilities for IMG.

Besides the academic center, the school also opened in November 2015 its new 35,000-square-foot Campus Center with several dining options, activity and lounge areas, gift shop and a bookstore. Also set to open in 1016 is a 65,000-square-foot Performance Research Center which features such facilities as a 12,000-square-foot weight room and a Mind Gym for mental conditioning.

Window for Housing

For its housing needs, the academy has more besides its two state-of-the-art residence halls with 350 fully-furnished rooms. IMG owns 23 units out of the 60 at the gated condo community of Academy Park Villas near the school campus.

Officially listed amongst the housing options for full-time IMG Academy students, this community often has condos listed amongst Sarasota condos for sale that have rental possibilities. These sales-listed units typically feature three to four bedrooms within floor plans of 2,000 up to about 2,700 square feet and priced between the $500s and $700s.