PDI shares plans for former UU campus


According to a conditional use application (CUA) that was filed with the city of Urbana earlier this week, the former Urbana University campus will become a private sports academy that could eventually have a student enrollment of nearly 5,000 in five years.

The Pro Development Institute (PDI) also plans to hire 200 staff members during that time frame, according to the CUA it submitted.

PDI noted the boarding school campus will offer a “world-class education to students from 6th grade to postgraduate levels … and within five years provide huge economic benefits of over the $60.4 million per year that was likely lost with the (UU) campus closure.”

The CUA also mentions that PDI will provide the “highest level of training and competition in a variety of sports programs including baseball, basketball, football and soccer. Similar to the planned scaling of the overall student population, additional sports that include lacrosse, track and field, softball and swimming will be added to curriculum during this period of scaling up operations and enrollment.”

In addition, PDI notes that its “defining philosophy that drives our decisions and actions is ‘DEVELOP.’ Our mission is to provide the tools, guidance, and opportunity to develop any committed student-athlete into the best versions of themselves – physically, academically, artistically, spiritually, and emotionally – regardless of their socio-economic backgrounds.”

It also notes: “In the spirit of being strong community members, PDI will provide local public schools and civic minded organizations with scheduled community access to facilities.”

The CUA mentions that “PDI (is a) for profit organization and will continue to be for profit for the foreseeable future.”

For the fall of 2023, the CUA notes that PDI will be co-ed, have 11th and 12th graders along with post-graduate students and will have an enrollment of less than 500.

As far as expansion is concerned, the CUA notes “as of the time of this application, Applicant does not have immediate plans for additional construction on campus. Applicant does have long term plans to build an additional indoor athletic facility in a state of the art dome.”

The CUA notes that Paul Holycross will be the manager and CEO, Jared Pitt will be the CFO and general counsel, Braxton Miller and Paul Miller will be community liaisons, director of camps and local representatives, Tramain Hall will be head of performance training, Synergy Sports Agency will be in charge of event and tournament operations, Linda Jones, Ed. D will be the superintendent and Cory Hall will be academy head.

PDI, under the name Urbana Investment Group LLC, purchased the UU campus from Franklin University for $8.5 million last December.

The CUA will be considered by the city’s board of zoning appeals during its meeting on April 10.

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