Ave Maria, Florida

Ave Maria, Florida

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Ave María: Naples, Florida
nickname "U" =
settlement_type Naples = Town
motto #1 New Yory Giants fan-Guardian of Shore =

imagesize =
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flag_size =

seal_size = 120px
image_shield =
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mapsize = 250x200px
map_caption = Location in Collier County and the state of Florida

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subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = flag|United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = flag|Florida
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = noflag|Collier
government_footnotes =
government_type = Council-Manager
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Bill Barnett
leader_title1 = City Manager
leader_name1 = A. William Moss
established_title = Settled
established_date = 6 November 1886
established_title2 = Incorporated (town)
established_date2 = 2002
unit_pref = Imperial
area_footnotes = cite web |url=http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/GCTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=04000US12&-_box_head_nbr=GCT-PH1&-ds_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U&-format=ST-7 |title=Florida by Place. Population, Housing, Area, and Density: 2000 |publisher-US Census Bureau |accessdate=2007-09-10]
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population_as_of = 1 July 2006
population_footnotes = cite web |url=http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/tables/SUB-EST2006-04-12.xls |title=Annual Estimates of the population for the Incorporated Places of Florida |publisher=US Census Bureau |accessdate=2007-09-10 |format=XLS]
population_note =
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timezone = Eastern (EST)
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
latd = 26 |latm = 9 |lats = 11 |latNS = N
longd = 81 |longm = 47 |longs = 55 |longEW = W
elevation_footnotes = [cite web |url=http://www.fallingrain.com/world/US/12/Naples.html |title=Naples, United States Page |publisher=Falling Rain Genomics |accessdate=2007-09-10]
elevation_m = 1
elevation_ft = 3
postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 34101-34110, 34112-34114, 34116-34117, 34119-34120
area_code = 239
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 12-47625GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0287528GR|3
website = http://www.avemaria.com
footnotes =

Ave Maria, Florida, United States is a planned college town currently under development in Collier County, near Immokalee and Naples. Local community and business leaders have partnered with the Ave Maria Foundation to create a new community that will have a new 5,000 student Roman Catholic university, Ave Maria University, at its core. The town is planned for more than 8,000 residential units at build out, as well as many amenities. Amenities are to include a 17 court tennis facility, a golf course, a water park with separate lap pool, resort pool and water park, multiple soccer and softball fields, pickle ball courts, a dog park, an amphitheater, two indoor fitness facilities which will include indoor basketball and gyms, as well as walking and preserve trails and an activities director. The town and university opened in 2007.

Detailed plans for the community and university have been posted online and have garnered both praise and criticism. The driving force behind this development is Roman Catholic philanthropist Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino's Pizza and the Chancellor of Ave Maria University. His partner is Barron Collier Companies, a company involved in the project as part of its "Rural Stewardship" program, a program designed to conserve rural agriculture and environment while allowing for economic growth and development. Monaghan and Barron Collier Companies have exclusive control of commercial real estate in the town.

The new university at the core of the community is a follow-on to Ave Maria School of Law and Ave Maria College, both founded in Michigan. The community in Florida came about after difficulties in obtaining zoning and sundry support in Michigan. The reception of both the town and university in Florida has been quite positive, gaining county approval and breaking ground in 2005.


Monaghan once stated that commercial leases in the town would enforce beliefs consistent with the Roman Catholic faith, including prohibiting the sale of pornography or contraceptives and banning the performance of abortions. Consequently, the American Civil Liberties Union announced it would oppose these plans in court if they were carried out. [ [http://www.newsweek.com/id/56899 "Halfway to Heaven: A Catholic millionaire's dream town draws fire"] , "Newsweek", February 27, 2006.
[http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-2058771,00.html/ 'Pizza pope' builds a Catholic heaven] , "The Sunday Times", February 26, 2006.
] Monaghan later explained in a public statement, "I prefer not to have those things, but I am not going to break the law." [Glanton, Dahleen. [http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/mld/ledgerenquirer/news/nation/14259455.htm Catholic billionaire envisions city of God] "Chicago Tribune". April 04, 2006.]

There was also controversy with GLBT rights groups when it was rumored that Monaghan would prohibit realtors to sell homes and condos to gay and lesbian couples and families in Ave Maria. Monaghan has denied this claim.

The centerpiece of the town and university is a Roman Catholic oratory. It is a neo-Gothic style building convert|100|ft|m in height, covering convert|25000|sqft|m2, with a glass and steel exterior and a crucifix convert|65|ft|m in height. While still sizable, this is a scaled back version of the original plan, which had a convert|60000|sqft|m2|sing=on floor plan. [ [http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050722/NEWS01/507220403/1075 "Ava Maria's church plan scaled back"] , The News Press, July 22, 2005] Many people have criticized the choice of designs, saying that either a traditional European style or a local Spanish mission style would be better for aesthetic and climatic reasons. Monaghan, an admirer of the architectural style of Frank Lloyd Wright, supports the design. [ [http://www.cruxnews.com/rose/rose-14may04.html "An alternative proposal for Ave Maria"] , CruxNews.com, May 14, 2004]

The community has drawn criticism from environmental and conservation groups because the location of the development is in the middle of a primary breeding ground of the critically endangered Florida panther. [cite press release |title=Conservation Group Calls on Federal Agencies to Protect Critical Florida Panther Habitat |publisher=Defenders of Wildlife |date=2007-02-20 |url=http://www.defenders.org/newsroom/press_releases_folder/2007/02_20_2007_calling_on_federal_agencies_to_protect_critical_florida_panther_habitat.php |accessdate=2007-07-25]


Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

Ave Maria's public schools are operated by the District School Board of Collier County. One public elementary school and one public middle school will be placed in the community on a 46 acre site. The district also has plans to build a high school in close proximity to Ave Maria [http://www.collier.k12.fl.us/facilities/docs/CIPBook.pdf] [http://www.avemaria.com/discover/] [http://www.avemaria.com/discover/sitemap.asp] .

Private schools

In the Fall of 2007, a private K-12 school opened in Ave Maria [http://www.avemaria.com/discover/] [http://www.avemaria.com/discover/sitemap.asp] with over 130 students. The school plans to eventually add a second building to house the high school.


External links

* [http://www.avemaria.com/ Community of Ave Maria] , the development's official website
* [http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060301/NEWS/603010508/1017/POLITICS10 New Fla. town aims to ban contraceptives] , a March 2006 Associated Press article about the development, via International Herald Tribune
* [http://www.star-telegram.com/629/story/192749.html New town is also 'one big congregation'] an August 2007 article from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram
* [http://avewatch.com AveWatch.com - Investigative Journalism on Tom Monaghan's Ave Maria Entities]

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