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Groundbreaking Ceremony held at the “New” Lifetime Sports Academy at McMillen Park.
Groundbreaking Ceremony held at the “New” Lifetime Sports Academy at McMillen Park.
Ground was broken November 14, for a $1.4 million facility that will serve the Parks and Recreation Department’s Lifetime Sports Academy and McMillen Park Pro Shop. Director Al Moll was joined by John McMillen, Mrs. Marg Jehl, Jerry Fox and City Council representatives as they broke ground for a 10,000 square foot structure.

“Today we begin a new chapter for the Lifetime Sports Academy and McMillen Park,” said Al Moll, Director of Parks and Recreation. “By collaborating with private and public entities, the Department will be able to offer additional programming for area youth and support for our golfing community with state-of-the-art technology.”


The facility is estimated to cost $1,337,000, which will come from the following sources:

$675,000 from Parks & Recreation bond funding

$500,000 from the McMillen Foundation

$100,000 from City Council At-Large

$62,000 from Mayor Graham Richard’s CEDIT pledge to the Parks


The 10,000 square-foot facility will house a permanent office and training space for the Lifetime Sports Academy, the McMillen Golf Pro Shop, a public meeting space and storage. MSKTD & Associates completed the architectural plans, and the facility will be constructed by Hamilton Hunter Builders.

The summer of 2006 marked the successful completion of the Lifetime Sports Academy’s ninth summer. Free group lessons in the lifetime sports of golf, tennis and swimming are offered to boys and girls, ages 8 – 18. Lessons focus on skill development.

The Parks and Recreation Department provides certified coaching and highly trained professionals who direct lessons in swimming, tennis and golf. Offering instruction in three sports has been a successful formula for the past nine years. The Lifetime Sport Academy has developed a solid reputation and is attracting a huge number of kids each summer.

This year, the following numbers of lessons were given to the 1,200 kids enrolled: 2,600 golf lessons, 2,100 tennis lessons and 1,650 swim lessons. Participants have the opportunity to earn new tennis rackets, golf clubs and more. More than 160 rackets and 60 sets of golf clubs were earned in 2006. Since its beginning in 1998, Lifetime Sports Academy has awarded more than 600 tennis rackets and 500 sets of golf clubs to participants who passed their skills tests.

The new facility is expected to be completed by June 2007 for the 10th season of the Lifetime Sports Academy. For more information about LSA, call the Parks and Recreation Department at 427-6000 or log on to www.fortwayneparks.org.

The Waynedale News Staff
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