Oxbridge Academy Of The Palm Beaches
By Amanda Wilson, Oxbridge Academy Of The Palm Beaches, West Palm Beach, Fla.
The success of Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches inaugural year was extraordinary. What was once an abandoned community center was transformed into a top-tier, co-ed college preparatory school that surpassed the highest expectations for enrollment, academic achievement and quality of student experience.The school opened in September 2011, and was founded by William “Bill” Koch who saw the need for a local institution to offer a world-class education experience through a project-based curriculum that is life-defining and prepares students for success in the 21st century.
Oxbridge has 26 athletic teams and clubs ranging from basketball to fencing and sailing. Approximately 85 percent of students participate in athletics, making sports a central element in student life. All of the upgrades are driven by students’ desires to expand the athletic offerings and the administration’s commitment to providing a safe, state-of-the-art educational experience that challenges students to improve both on the athletic fields and in the classrooms.
The school underwent an extreme makeover, and the multi-million dollar upgrades to the athletic facilities included the following:
- Purchased state-of-the-art weight room equipment.
- Created athletic trainers’ room equal to those found on college campuses.
- Re-clayed and re-seeded existing softball field.
- Resurfaced six lighted tennis courts.
- Installed secure pool fencing and new starting blocks, and improved lane buoys.
- Upgraded lighting and audio system in gymnasium.
- Acquired 14 acres north of campus to develop athletic complex and remove infrastructure of the existing planned housing community.
- $500,000 lake reconstruction to expand practice field, creating a varsity regulation competition field for soccer and lacrosse.
- Installed competition lighting on new field.
- Installed retractable bleachers in the gymnasium to increase seating.
- Installed retractable baskets at cross courts for more efficient use of gymnasium space.
- Expansion of athletic trainers’ room and creation of suite for coaches.
- Resurfaced and connected track surrounding lake.
- Practice field featuring Bermuda grass and competition lights.
- Development of athletic complex to include a 1,500-person stadium, concessions and dedicated parking.
- Stadium will feature a synthetic turf competition field for football, girls flag football, boys and girls lacrosse, and boys and girls soccer.
- Lighted walkway from main campus to athletic complex.
- Nine-cup putting green.
- Completion of baseball field in athletic complex.
- Addition of four lighted tennis courts.
- Construction of auxiliary gymnasium.
By renovating an existing community center, Koch was able to open the school quickly and save money. This allowed him to invest resources in state-of-the-art educational technology, athletic equipment and facilities, and the recruitment of inspirational teachers.
>>>>(right) Workers had to reconstruct the lake to create a regulation varsity field for the soccer and lacrosse teams.