TFA celebrates renovation of Natalie Thomas Student Center, Whitaker Auditorium

The First Academy announced the successful completion of the two entities Monday, Jan. 29.

Photo courtesy of The First Academy
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The First Academy is celebrating the successful completion of the fully renovated Natalie Thomas Student Center, formerly known as the Natalie Thomas Gymnasium, and the Whitaker Auditorium.

The school announced the news in a press release Monday, Jan. 29.

The first phase of the renovations started back in 2021 as part of the school's "ongoing commitment to providing an exceptional environment for Central Florida families."

The first phase of the renovations involved the creation of the Royal Kitchen & Eatery and Gather Cafeteria Space, which will offer the school community the convenience of a full-service kitchen and dining area right on campus. 

The second phase of the renovations including converting the athletics gymnasium into the versatile Whitaker Auditorium. The space was named in honor of Head of School Dr. Steve Whitaker for his 20 years of dedicated service to TFA. 

The state-of-the-art space is designed to cater to a variety of needs, serving as a fully functioning chapel, fine arts venue, athletic facility and student center.

"We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our generous donors whose support has made this ambitious project a reality," TFA representatives said in the press release. "The Whitaker Auditorium, equipped with telescoping seating, can comfortably host up to 500 students and guests, meeting the evolving needs of our diverse student body. We invite you to come and experience the enhanced facilities at The First Academy. We look forward to sharing many memorable moments in our newly renovated spaces!"

Photo courtesy of The First Academy



Annabelle Sikes

News Editor Annabelle Sikes was born in Boca Raton and moved to Orlando in 2018 to attend the University of Central Florida. She graduated from UCF in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in sociology. Her past journalism experiences include serving as a web producer at the Orlando Sentinel, a reporter at The Community Paper, managing editor for NSM Today, digital manager at Centric Magazine and as an intern for the Orlando Weekly.

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