Special Olympics Missouri breaks ground on Training for Life Campus
JEFFERSON CITY – Special Olympics Missouri broke ground Thursday on construction for the Training for Life Campus, a facility expected to improve athlete's development and bring $350,000 to Jefferson City each year.
According to a press release, the facility will be the headquarters for Special Olympics Missouri. It will provide more than 15,000 athletes throughout the state a place to meet, train and further their development both on and off the playing field.
The campus, which will be located on the northeast corner of U.S. Highway 54 and Missouri Highway 179, will be the first facility of its kind built for the sole purpose of improving the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by having athletic training and athlete screenings in the same place.
Special Olympics athlete Derek Sandbothe said the training campus will help him grow as an athlete and as a human being.
“It will give us a chance to make something of ourselves, to help us be accepted in the community and loved by others,” Sandbothe said.
In addition to athletic training, the campus will provide enrichment opportunities for new and existing Special Olympics Missouri programs, including free health screenings in the Healthy Athletes Program, life skills training and the Young Athletes Program for children as young as three. According to the press release, the programs are specifically designed to improve health, fitness and socialization among athletes.
Randy Allen, president and CEO with Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce said, “The campus will truly be a vibrant hub for our community.”
It is estimated that 1,200 athletes, along with coaches and volunteers, will take advantage of year-round training opportunities each year, which will in turn bring approximately 1,950 room nights and 7,500 meals annually to Jefferson City hotels and restaurants along with 30 permanent jobs in the Jefferson City area.
Construction is expected to be done in fall 2018. The $16 million raised so far is enough to construct the 34,000 square foot main building and multi-purpose outdoor sports field. The organization is still looking to raise $2 million to complete the remaining outdoor training fields, including tennis courts, a softball field, horseshoe pits, a wellness trail surrounding the campus and more.