Breaking Ground on the Future of Athletics

On Tuesday, May 9, 2023, St. Mark’s ushered in a new era of athletics as the school broke ground on the Marksman Athletic Complex. The ceremony took place just steps from the former site of Hicks Gym, which was destroyed in a tornado that struck campus in October 2019. Now, following careful planning and preparation, work will begin on a facility that will both replace and substantially enhance what was lost.  
Before breaking ground, Eugene McDermott Headmaster David W. Dini reflected on the journey that has led St. Mark’s to this milestone.  
“This is a story of resilience, and of seeing this community come together,” Dini said. “My message here is one simply of gratitude to the families, the donors, the individuals who have come forward to make today possible. Thank you for your partnership and investment in the future of athletics and the meaningful relationships and life-changing experiences that occur in athletics every day.” 
Speaking on behalf of the student body, Student Council President Sal Hussain ’23 shared his belief that the Athletic Complex will benefit all Marksmen.  
“This brand-new athletics facility will become home, not just to athletes, but to all students and will continue to foster the brotherhood that truly makes St. Mark's the place it is,” Hussain said. “This building will certainly hold the banners of our history, but it's also a symbol of what we can achieve when we work together towards a common goal.” 
Throughout the ceremony, the whistles and shouts of varsity football practice could be heard on the other side of the Athletic Complex construction site. Carl Sewell III ’02, chair of the Marksman Athletic Complex Planning Committee, thought this made for a poignant backdrop to the groundbreaking.  
“Those Lions out there remind me that athletics do so much to bring our boys together,” Sewell said. “Today, we break ground on the single largest construction project in the 117-year history of our School, a facility that will impact our boys for generations to come and build upon our whole boy mission that we live and strive for every single day.” 
In addition to speaking at the ceremony, Mayor Eric Johnson extended a special recognition from the City of Dallas to St. Mark’s. The document, in part, states: “The Athletic Complex Project will bring together new state-of-the-art buildings and facilities that will strengthen St. Mark’s commitment to excellence, enabling every Marksman to reach his full potential on the playing field, and more importantly, in life.” 
The groundbreaking ceremony caps an extraordinary effort by the community to bring this project to fruition. In total, the project reimagines eight acres along the campus’s northeast quadrant. The centerpiece 77,000-square-foot Marksman Athletic Complex includes a slate of features to elevate the athletic experience for all students, most notably an 850-seat gymnasium and a 12-lane swimming pool.  
The adjoining Al G. Hill, Sr. Family Tennis Center will be rebuilt with a shaded spectator pavilion. Extensive paving and landscaping will transform the entire area into a hive of activity for all Marksmen. To learn more about all that the Marksman Athletic Complex will offer, visit the project microsite
    • J. Carl Sewell ’02, Sean Lissemore, Sal Hussain ’23, Mayor Eric Johnson, Jeff Hillier ’76, and David Dini.

© 2023 St. Mark’s School of Texas  |  10600 Preston Road  |  Dallas, Texas 75230  |  214-346-8000  |