Park Place Christian Academy held a Groundbreaking Ceremony for Phase Two of its Athletic Fields on the southern part of its campus in Pearl. Pictured left to right: PPCA School Board Trustees Terry Sensing, Jessica Weems, School Board Vice-Chairperson Renee Holm, School Board Chairman Dr. Darren Scoggin, Jason Stewart of Stewart Project Management, former PPCA Head of School and Assistant Superintendent of Madison County Schools Ted Poore, PPCA Head of School Jason Cook, Park Place Baptist Church Senior Pastor Dr. Keith Grubbs, Bud McGehee of Southern Rock LLC, former PPCA School Board Chairperson Jan Miller, Jonathan Johnson of Pickering Engineering, Jamie Wier of WBA Architects, City of Pearl Alderman District 1 Sammy Williams, and John McHenry, City of Pearl Alderman at-large
PEARL – Park Place Christian Academy (PPCA) held a Groundbreaking Ceremony for Phase 2 of the school’s new Athletic Fields on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021.
PPCA Head of School Jason Cook emceed the short ceremony held on the southern acreage of the school’s campus which is owned by Park Place Baptist Church (PPBC).
Held in conjunction with the Pearl Chamber of Commerce, the ceremony featured PPBC’s Senior Pastor Dr. Keith Grubbs who delivered a short history of how the church came to acquire the 23 wooded acres.
Noting that the majority of the land was originally deemed to be wetland property that was unusable for buildings, Grubbs shared how the church purchased it and then discovered that the composite of the soil had changed over the years.
“God is a wonder-working God and somehow, someway, He shrunk the 11 acres of wetland down to two,” said Grubbs to the crowd who reacted enthusiastically.
“The great news today,” he continued, “is that nearly all of the property of the 23 acres can be developed.”
Jason Cook shared with the crowd of 350+ students, coaches, and guests the accomplished plans of Phase one and the expectations of Phase two for the athletic fields.
The first phase was the development of acreage nearest the eastern boundary that is closest to Chick-Fil-A and Starbucks along Stribling Lane in Brandon.
Irrigation is completed and grass is already taking hold there for a combination soccer and football field with a track course surrounding it.
Cook said, “We’re trying to get that field ready to play (soccer) in the fall of 2022.”
Weather conditions and timely arrival of construction supplies will make it possible for Girls Soccer to play in July or August next year, but scheduling football games there depends upon more fundraising for necessary equipment and seating.
“Until then,” Cook said, “We’ll continue to rent H.F. Shepherd Memorial Football Field in Pearl.”
Park Place Christian Academy’s athletic fields. At the top is the space being prepared for future football and soccer games with a track to run around it. In the center of the photo is the acreage being prepared for the baseball/softball field.
A new softball/baseball field is being prepared on the acreage in the southeastern corner, where I-20 borders the property.
“The baseball/softball field will have a synthetic turf infield so that we can play both sports on it, with a portable mound and Bermuda grass outfield,” Cook explained.
The projected date for completion of the baseball/softball field is in the Spring of 2022.
A ministry of PPBC, the K3-12th grade school began in 2000 and has grown over the past 20+ years to include three academic buildings, but nearly all its sports programs are conducted through rented facilities in the metro Jackson area.
“The new addition of athletic fields will greatly enhance our students’ experience,” said Cook, who also serves as the school’s Athletic Director.
“Being able to play on our own property will be a great opportunity to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the visiting teams and their fans as they play our PPCA Crusader athletes,” he said.
One unique feature explained by Cook is that “beneath both endzones and under home plate, we will bury a copy of God’s Word open to 2 Timothy 4:17.”
The act symbolizes PPCA’s emphasis that competitive sports is always secondary to its evangelical and discipleship goals.
“This is the Lord’s complex, for His glory,” said Cook. “We want to see lives changed, souls saved, our pleasure, but done for His glory.”
Following the ceremony, Cook invited fourteen guests to help him use specially designated shovels to symbolically break ground.
These included PPCA School Board Chairman Dr. Darren Scoggin, Vice-Chair Renee Holm, and School Board members Terry Sensing and Jessica Weems.
Also helping Cook and Grubbs with the ceremonial dirt-turning were former Head of School Ted Poore and PPCA’s first School Board chairperson Jan Miller.
Others participating were Pearl Aldermen Sammy Williams and John McHenry, Jonathan Johnson of Pickering Engineering, Bud McGehee of Southern Rock LLC who has helped with both phases of construction, Jason Stewart of Stewart Project Management, and Jamie Wier of WBA Architecture.
Cook thanked Cheryl Sims of the Gertrude C. Ford Foundation, Pearl Mayor Jake Windham, Tim Parrish of Headwaters, Jack Stuart of Priority One Bank, and Kathy Deer of the Pearl Chamber of Commerce for their support of PPCA’s development.
School and church leadership, along with past and current coaches and an ad hoc committee were also acknowledged publicly, along with gratitude to former Heads of School Barbara Sensing, Preston Gordon, Jeremy Nicholas, and Ted Poore for their vision and leadership in developing PPCA.
PPCA is a fully accredited Biblically based Christian school.