A public-private sports academy venture backed by NFL linebacker Jon Bostic in his native Wellington is lining up architectural approvals despite a few jocular reservations about heavy use of the colors of his college alma mater, the University of Florida.
Meeting Wednesday, Sept. 27, Wellington’s Architectural Review Board approved citrus orange and evening blue in wall and monument signs for the Wellington Sports Academy, though that required a departure from the village’s pre-sanctioned palette of colors.
The board was not willing to throw a penalty flag amid high hopes in the village that it will turn out to be an innovative project and a hit with young athletes. It sits on 17.2 acres of Wellington Community Park land that formerly housed the Boys & Girls Club. The property has been underutilized since the Boys & Girls Club moved to a new site more than a decade ago.
Signs on the building and by the road will be permitted to exceed standard dimensions by height and square footage. In another variance, the board also permitted a second monument sign at another of two entrances to the facility at 3401 South Shore Blvd.
The board approved the items 6-0, with Board Member Jeff Browning recusing himself because he said he has known one of the principals for many years.
Orange and blue will be familiar to fans of the University of Florida, where Bostic, now 32, played college ball after drawing attention at Palm Beach Central High School in Wellington. He went on to a 10-year NFL career, most recently with the Washington Commanders last season.
The orange and blue colors extend to other features throughout the facility, though less so than once planned, a representative for the project said.
“I just want to make a note that we have significantly decreased our use of orange and blue from our original submittal, as per staff’s request,” said Zachary Ciciera, a planner with the Jupiter-based firm Cotleur & Hearing. “We believe the current arrangement of the colors are mild, yet consistent with the theme.”
In a state where college sports loyalties extend to a range of competing schools, more than one board member joked about not being totally sure about the UF colors, but that did not turn into a deal-breaker.
“Thank you, because Wellington really needed something like this,” Board Vice Chair Maria Antuña said. “It’s always good when the kids can go somewhere, and they can have a place for a sports academy like this.”
Under an agreement that the village approved with Wellington Sports Academy LLC in 2022, the project involves a combination of private and public investment on land owned by the village. Bostic is listed as the LLC’s manager in village documents.
Plans call for removing the existing building and providing a new 112,245-square-foot indoor athletic facility that features fitness, health and wellness amenities, including a café and kitchen.
With some outdoor fields remaining around it, the indoor facility is projected to involve 23,859 square feet of general fitness space and specialty training space, 5,650 square feet of cheer and gymnastics space, 8,582 square feet of indoor batting cages, and seven indoor basketball courts and 13 volleyball courts.
If all falls into place, construction could begin in the coming months.
In other business:
- The board approved 7-0 concrete roof tile for multi-family and clubhouse buildings in the multi-use Lotis development west of State Road 7 and a mile north of Forest Hill Blvd. The panel had earlier rejected a request for asphalt shingle roofing.
- The board approved a new sign for Green Village Dental Care at Forest Hill Blvd. and Olive Drive. The sign on the building’s east side comes in addition to the normally allowed three others on the exterior, and exceeds routine square footage at 41 feet, but village staff recommended approval, and the board agreed 7-0.