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St. Johns OKs plans for 4 new schools

Revenue from new half-cent sales tax to fund addtional schools

Site of new K-8 school in Nocatee
Site of new K-8 school in Nocatee

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The St. Johns County School Board has approved plans for four new schools: kindergarten-eighth-grade schools in Nocatee, the Aberdeen area in the northwestern part of the county and in the World Golf Village area; and an elementary school in the southern part of the county.

Each school is estimated to cost between $20 million and $26 million.

The schools will be financed through the half-cent sales tax increase approved approved by voters last month and will go into effect in January. Bonds will be issued in February 2016, with construction expected to begin by May. The goal is to have three of the schools open for the 2017-18 school year.

School planners estimate the district will need 20 new schools in the next decade to accommodate nearly 16,000 additional students in a county where the student population is partially fueled by the county's top-rated school system.

The district said the student population has grown by 10,473 students in the past decade -- a 45 percent increase in enrollment.