The King’s Academy held a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, May 12 to mark the start of construction on the Frank DiMino Student Union. Funding for this important addition to the school’s master plan was made possible through generous financial gifts from local philanthropists Frank DiMino of the Frank DiMino Family Foundation and Clare O’Keeffe of the Esther B. O’Keeffe Charitable Foundation.
“Our students have benefited from the remarkable philanthropy of Mr. Frank DiMino and Miss Clare O’Keeffe,” TKA President Randy Martin said. “They answered the call to give generously to bring this project to life so that future generations of students will have an even greater community experience during their time at King’s.”
The Frank DiMino Student Union will be a place where community can take place and excellence can be achieved. The building was designed by Randolph Hansen of InterPlan Architects and will be built by Hedrick Brothers Construction in time for the start of the 2022 school year. The two-story, 13,000-square-foot project will provide a permanent home for the school’s growing O’Keeffe Pre-Law Studies and Pre-Medical Programs of Distinction.
The addition of these innovative instructional spaces will provide opportunities for students to thrive while they focus on future goals, build a foundation of intellectual framework and light a passion for the future. It will include named areas recognizing the generosity of the Esther B. O’Keeffe Charitable Foundation.
The student union will also be an important extension of the Beaumont Library, the TKA Café and a space for a much-needed student technology hub. This building will quickly become a central focus of student activity and learning as a vast majority of students descend on it daily to eat together, read together, repair computers together, discuss, debate and defend together, collaborate together, and even to learn to heal the sick together.
The groundbreaking ceremony was a school-wide event that included special messages from Steve Rasmussen (board chair), Randy Martin (president), Dr. Douglas Raines (vice president and headmaster), Jennifer Ceppo (high school principal) and Denise Brown (director of the O’Keeffe Pre-Law Studies Program). The school’s Smith Family Conservatory students performed the national anthem, while elementary students participated in a “thank you” parade. The ceremony was followed by a catered luncheon in the school’s library where strings students performed for the honored guests.
The Frank DiMino Family Foundation’s generosity is displayed on many local and national facilities. DiMino has been a wonderful supporter of TKA through the endowment of the school’s nationally recognized DiMino Engineering Program, support for the school’s championship competitive cheerleading team and by naming the DiMino Science Center.
DiMino is a South Florida resident and philanthropist. He was born in Grotte, Sicily. His family immigrated to the United States in 1935 when he was a young boy and eventually settled in Rochester, N.Y. At a young age, DiMino assisted his mother in the financial support of his family. It was this situation that sparked his lifelong passion for entrepreneurship and philanthropy. At the height of his entrepreneurial activity, DiMino owned and operated a wide variety of businesses.
The O’Keeffe family’s generosity is reflected in the names of many Palm Beach area facilities and programs. The Esther B. O’Keeffe Foundation has been a faithful supporter and friend to TKA. The foundation has supported the school’s nationally recognized programs through endowing the award-winning O’Keeffe Pre-Law Studies and providing a significant gift to fund the construction of the Page Family Center for the Smith Family Conservatory of the Arts. The foundation was established in 1990 by the late philanthropist Esther B. O’Keeffe, wife of the respected surgeon and philanthropist Dr. Arthur O’Keeffe. Their children now carry on the family’s charitable tradition by serving as trustees of the foundation.