Fountain Valley School’s new athletic center broke ground Oct. 6 in front of a crowd of students, faculty, alumni, trustees and local officials.

As part of the $25 million capital campaign for FVS, the new 60,000-square-foot athletic center will house an indoor rock-climbing facility, an eight-lane swimming pool, and basketball and volleyball courts.

The athletic center will also provide classrooms and event space.

The new sports facility is the “centerpiece” of the capital campaign and is set to finish by fall 2018, according to Jeanne Olive, FVS’s director of marketing.

“For the last five years we’ve been hard at work devising a robust strategic and campus master plan that will continue to strengthen our support of our community, students, faculty, staff and deliver our school mission,” Olive said. “Our current gym was built in 1951. [FVS] was an was an all-boys boarding school so we have really outgrown that space.”

So far, $21.5 million has been raised by mostly alumni and “friends” of the school, Olive said.

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Other additions to the school include a 16,000-square-foot maintenance facility, which will have carpentry, plumbing, electric and transportation services, four faculty housing units and infrastructure improvements to reroute campus traffic.

The Penrose Sports Center will also be turned into a performing arts space.

FVS is working with iiCon Construction Group and CSNA Architects to complete the project.

Head of School Will Webb said in a press release the new center is going to improve the school.

“This is a school that is a transformative experience, and the new athletic center will allows us to deepen our programs, enhance our recruitment efforts and support our faculty in delivery of the school’s mission,” Webb said.

Part of FVS’ vision is also to open the athletic center to the surrounding communities, Olive said.

“Once the athletic center is complete we’d [like to] make our pool available to young local swim teams,” Olive said. “We’ll also have a fantastic climbing wall we hope to share with young students in the community.”

To follow progress of athletic center construction, go to fvs.edu for live webcam updates.