The Village School of Naples, an independent school serving students in Preschool through 12th grade, today broke ground for a new $1.8-million Track and Field complex along with other related athletic facilities. It is expected that construction will begin immediately with completion anticipated by February 2022, pending weather.

The new facilities will include a 400-meter, synthetic track with spectator stands and an interior competition field for all field events and other sports, such as soccer and lacrosse.

“We are excited to unveil our plans for a state-of-the-art Track and Field complex on our campus,” said Dennis Chapman, Head of School for The Village School of Naples. “These new facilities will further propel our growing Varsity athletic program and help us continue to attract top student-athletes from both in and outside of Southwest Florida.”

The project is part of an ongoing $3-million capital campaign to renovate and expand the school’s academic, arts and athletic facilities to accommodate current and future growth.

Included in the ongoing campus improvements are a near doubling of space in the two-story Upper School Building to provide additional classroom space and administrative offices as well as a new culinary arts test kitchen. Also within Upper School is the new Lauren S. Tayon Drama Studio with a large main stage area along with rehearsal space, music rooms, storage, and dining/theater seating for future plays and other performances.

“This capital campaign is geared toward enhancing the student experience and helping us achieve our vision of being the preferred education choice for students and their families in our community,” said Jane Badger, Director of Development for The Village School. “Each of these projects will be funded with donor naming opportunities available.”

Future phases of outdoor athletic facilities could include six lighted tennis courts immediately adjacent to the new track along with accessory fields that could be used for such sports as javelin, discus and shot-put. There also could be additional practice fields.

Dennis Chapman & John Egan

The task of growing the athletics program lies with John Egan, who was recently brought in as Athletic Director at The Village School. Egan, who previously served as the Athletic Director at Christian Heritage School in Trumbull, Conn., will focus on building the Knights athletic program into one that draws in top student-athletes across all sports.

“It is estimated that more than 60 percent of Village School students participates on an athletic team and more than 100 of them participates each athletic season,” Egan said. “So, it is important we continue to invest in top notch athletic facilities on our campus.”

Located at 6000 Goodlette-Frank Rd., The Village School of Naples originally began as The Caring Place Preschool in 1985 as an outreach at North Naples United Methodist Church. In 2000, the church relocated to the present campus location and added The Village School, beginning with K-2 and 37 students. In 2006, the school was accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools and the Florida Kindergarten Council.

In 2009, parents asked The Village School for a middle school to be added and soon after added the middle school one grade a year to complete the eighth grade. Four years later, the Board of Directors voted to add an upper school division in the fall of 2017. A capital campaign followed, and the new division opened in August 2017 with 17 students.

In June 2020, The Village School celebrated its first-ever graduating class of seniors with a class of 12 students. The school currently has over 100 upper school students, including 18 in the class of 2022. For additional information, visit

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