Coming Soon:

A New Home for

Sarasota Youth Sailing!

Sarasota Youth Sailing, in partnership with the Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Luffing Lassies and Sail Sarasota, have embarked on a mission to build a new sailing education center! We hope you will join us on this journey to create a facility that will meet our program’s growing demands so we may better serve our community.


About the project….


Designed by PS Design Workshop, in collaboration with William Olmstead Antozzi Office of Architecture

“Education is a process of conveying potential or possibility, then encouraging and giving time for discovery. It is deliberate and hopeful, grounded in the desire that all may grow and flourish. There is much greater support and public awareness today of the importance of learning, from the early years to the long-term health, and to the success of our children and our communities. Located outside of conventional institutions, the Sarasota Sailing Squadron aspires to provide a unique place for learning about the timeless tradition of sailing to the community of Sarasota and the next generation of sailors. 

The new sailing education center will be a multi-purpose and multifaceted education, community, event, and office space focused on and around the world of sailing. The building will serve as a home for both Sarasota Youth Sailing and its flotilla. A safe, enriching, and inclusive place providing an opportunity for residents and visitors to enjoy the adventures of the water. 

The design of the new education building draws from both the guiding principles put forth by the Sarasota School of Architecture as well as the regionally defining vernacular projects of the area and existing Squadron buildings. Serving as a coastal demarcation and point-of-interest, the new building will embody the serve the day-to-day activities of youth sailing, but also personify the identity of the Squadron and the continuing relationship it has with its community. 

A civic oriented building, it’s intended to be fun, interactive, and informative about the marine environment, sailing culture, and sustainability. The sailboat itself provides the building blocks to be used as the foundation of the Sarasota Youth Sailing Education Building; engineered by streamlines, organized by utility, and maximized for potential. 

The new building will be focused on running the Sarasota Youth Sailing program which accommodates approximately 400 youth ages 5-18 in attendance each summer and 75 sailors in the year-round program. The program supports High School teams in sailing and racing locally and nationally. In addition, adult groups such as the Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Luffing Lassies and Sail Sarasota among others will also utilize the building for both organization and boat storage. 

The Sailing Squadron has a beautiful and charming history as one of the founding organizations of the city culture. Drawing from the past, utilizing the present, and investing in the future, the Squadron seeks to provide a landmark that will represent the enduring bond between the city of Sarasota and the water which surrounds it. The intent is to create a vessel for learning and outreach as fundamentally well suited for the task as the sailboat itself is for sailing.” 

-PS Design Workshop

Join us on this journey!

We are in search of community support for this exciting project, and you can be a part of making it all possible! 

Contribute today to help support this initiative:


Frequently Asked Questions


  1. How long has SYS been developing this project? 
    • The project has been underway with SYS and SSS involvement since early 2020. Development work on the project was suspended during the Covid 19 Pandemic and was revisited in early 2023.
  2. When will the construction start?
    • After the project gains city approval for the concept of the building, has all permitting completed, and raised the necessary funds. As of October 2023, we do not expect to break ground until at least the end of 2024, or possibly 2025.
  3. How long will construction take?
    • A very rough estimate is 12 to 18 months.


  1. Who will pay for the building construction?
    • SYS will lead the fund raising efforts. The entire building will be paid for through fundraising.
  2. Who will pay for maintenance?
    • During fundraising we will fund a “maintenance account” from which reasonably expectable operational and maintenance expenses will be paid. This (may) take the form of an endowment.
  3. Will SYS or SSS membership dues increase in order to operate the building?
    • No. The maintenance account will take care of that. Any increase in membership dues will not be related to the new building.
  4. How can you support the new education building?
    • We have not started our major capital campaign yet, but we are seeking support for the planning and permitting process. Donations can be accepted on this web page at the link above, and are greatly appreciated.
  5. How much will the construction cost?
    • The projected cost of the building will be between 2.5 and 3 million dollars.
  6. How much has SYS spent so far?
    • To date, SYS has raised and spent approximately $115,000 for the following: Feasibility Study, Conceptual Design, Geographic Surveys, Schematic Design, Contractor Construction Estimates, and preliminary Structural and Civil Engineering. 
  7. How much contingency is built into the construction budget?
    • Once final engineering and construction costs are known, as part of the capital campaign, SYS will establish a reserve fund to account for project overruns in accordance with standard practices. Additionally, a fund will be in place to support the maintenance of the building on an ongoing basis.
  8. Will construction begin before SYS has raised all the money? Will SYS be taking out a bridge loan?  If there is a bridge loan will SSS have financial responsibility in that bridge loan agreement?
    • There will be no construction until fundraising goals are fully met, and SYS is not considering any type of bridge loan.


  1. Who will own the building?
    • The building will be located on land leased by SSS from the city and as such only SSS can own the building.
  2. But how will you fundraise for SYS and then have SSS own the building?
    • Sail Sarasota Inc., which is the 501c3 nonprofit arm of SSS, will be acting as the fiscal agent for SSS, a 501c7 nonprofit organization. Sail Sarasota has the specific goal to fundraise for sailing related educational endeavors.
  3. Will members be able to see the maintenance agreement between SSS and SYS?
    • Yes, just like today, an MOU exists between SSS and SYS that outlines the maintenance agreements. It is, as always, available to the members. The existing MOU will be modified mutually between SSS and SYS that will address all aspects of the new building, including use, utility costs, and ongoing maintenance.
  4. Will other groups besides the Luffing Lassies, Sail Sarasota, and SYS be able to use the building?
    • Yes, just like today, rental storage for club members will be available. The building will be available for SSS functions, per the mutually agreed upon MOU. Additionally, it should be noted that boat storage space in the building will increase by approximately 20 to 25% as compared to the current structure, thus providing additional revenue opportunities for SSS.

City Property Lease

  1. Who owns the property where the building we will build?
    • The city owns the property and SSS leases it from the city. SYS does not have a sublease but operates under a Memorandum of Understanding with SSS.
  2. Can SYS sublease the property?
    • No.The city’s lease does not allow subleases.
  3. How long is the lease?
    • Currently, the lease lasts another 10 years.
  4. Do we need a lease extension?
    • Yes, in order to raise funds for a big building, prospective donors and all organizations involved (SSS, SYS, Luffing Lassies & Sail Sarasota), want to know that building will be ours to use for a long time.
  5. Has anybody talked to the city about lease extension?
    • Yes and No. We have approached the city about the building and the lease has come up but we have not formally talked with them about it.
  6. How many years will SSS be asking the city to extend the current lease?
    • Lease extension discussions related to the construction of this building are in initial phases now. While no number has been determined, we are expecting negotiations will result in an additional 20 to 25 years, in addition to the 13 years remaining on the current lease. It should be noted that the SYS will not commence with the capital fundraising campaign until a conditional lease extension is in place.


  1. Where can I donate?
    • Donations are very much appreciated now to help fund the planning and permitting process. Donations can be accepted above this FAQ section by clicking on the donation button. Our capital campaign to raise the needed monetary support for construction is expected to launch this spring of 2024.
  2. When will the capital campaign start?
    • As soon as we have city DRC approval and have secured an SSS land lease extension from the city we will start our capital campaign.
  3. Do you have a fundraising company?
    • We are in contact with Carter – Advancing Philanthropy Worldwide but have made no decisions.

Operations / Usage

  1. Who will get to use the new building?
    • The building will be used similar to its use now: SYS will have boat & equipment storage, meeting space and office space (currently in the trailer), The Lassies will have mast and equipment storage and SSS will have dinghy rental spaces. There will also be a newer and bigger workshop, which will also function as a classroom for youth sailors in the SYS programs.
  2. How many boat storage spaces will there be?
    • The new building will add 30% more dinghy storage compared to the old building.
  3. Will SSS be able to use any of the spaces?
    • There will be a large multi purpose inside/outside meeting room which can be used by all involved parties.
  4. Who will manage the daily operations?
    • This is not yet determined.
  5. Who will have final say over room usages ?
    • This is not yet determined.
  6. Who will pay for utilities, cleaning, maintenance, repairs?
    • During fundraising we will fund a “maintenance account” from which reasonably expectable operational and maintenance expenses will be paid.


  1. Which construction company will get the bid?
    • This is not yet determined.
  2. Which architect is involved?
    • Derek Mark Pirozzi, Principal,  PS DESIGN WORKSHOP LLC
  3. Can you share any details about the impact of construction on SSS/SYS members?
    1. As you can imagine, this is a huge project both in financial and physical size for our clubs’ part of SSS’s and all of SYS’s mission is education around sailing and the environment. This new building will go a long way to ensure the continuity of this mission. Given our locale, inconveniences cannot be avoided but we will do everything we can to minimize them where possible.
  4. Will construction begin before SYS has raised all the money. Will SYS be taking out a bridge loan?  If there is a bridge loan will SSS have financial responsibility in that bridge loan agreement?
    • There will be no construction starting before SYS has met the funding goals of the new sailing center. There will be no bridge loan or bridge loan agreement.
  5. Will the dock near the existing building be available to members during construction?
    • Yes.
  6. Will existing ground boat space be taken away during construction? If yes, what is the plan for the impacted boats?
    • During the construction phase, the boats in the current structure will be displaced to fully accessible temporary on-site storage. This will fall under the overall site plan which will be developed nearer to project commencement.
  7. How long will construction take, and will construction be done between January and April?
    • Initial estimates are for construction to take approximately 15 to 18 months. There will be no breaks in the construction phase.

Contact the Building Committee

The Educational Building Committee consists of the following volunteers:


  • Mark Wittmann (SYS) – Committee Chairman
  • Lisa Brown Ehrhart (Luffing Lassies)
  • Dave Hillmyer (SSS)
  • David Jennings (SSI, SSS)
  • Justin King (SYS)
  • Greg Parris (SSS)
  • UV Sroka (SYS)
  • Keith Woodburry (SYS)


Please feel free to contact any of us with any questions. Questions or concerns can be sent directly to:

Click HERE to email the Education Building Committee!

Accredited by US Sailing

FALL 2023






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Sarasota Youth Sailing is closed for most holidays, and for fall and winter break in alignment with the Sarasota County Schools calendar.