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Jacksonville's facility will feature geothermal or river water heating, solar power, and green insulation, along with a grass roof for prime waterfront viewing.

Breaking New Ground

"Jacksonville University's sailing team became a varsity sport last August. At the same time, Jon Faudree started as the team's head coach. "When I first got to Jacksonville, I noticed this beautiful piece of property on the water and no activities happening," he says. So he wrote up a mission statement to build a new waterfront center and college sailing facility, and carried copies of it wherever he went. He finally got it into the hands of the right person, who took it to the university's president.

The new waterfront center will be more than a home for the sailing team. As a multi functional building, it will also serve  the campus and community by housing recreational sports and water activities, providing space for conferences, weddings, and other parities, and hosting the newest major on campus---sustainability.

 

Faudree hit the ground running when his vision gained interest from the campus and community, but the biggest challenge he faces at the moment is getting the word out," he says.

To do so, Faudree has been sailing, coaching, recruiting, and networking on the East Coast, and in Cleveland and Minnesota. So far, it's been effective. Last fall there were only five people on the team; this time around, he expects 20.

While the waterfront facility is still at the beginning stages of development and funding, the hope is to break ground in two hears and host the College Sailing Spring National Championships when they return to the South Atlantic conference in seven years.

"There is no doubt that we will have one of the coolest sailing programs ever," says Faudree, "and I will not rest until it is."

-Jen Vandemoer Mitchell