Plan approved to build new K-8 school in Nocatee

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – The St. Johns County School Board approved plans for a new kindergarten through eighth-grade school to be built in Nocatee. 

In a meeting Tuesday, the school board also approved the transfer of a nearly 40-acre plot of land in Nocatee's Twenty Mile Village community, which they're going to use to build the school. It was donated by a Nocatee developer.

"We've been growing consistently for a number of years. At least the last 10 years, we've grown by more than a school a year," said Tim Forson, deputy superintendent for operations. 

Developers said the layout of the school is similar to Patriot Oaks and Valley Ridge Academies.

The school will hold about 1,400 students and will feature movable walls, a large dining area along with music, art and PE rooms. There will also be several labs for science, business and technology.

The tab for the project is about $26 million, and the approval brings talks of more new schools for the growing area.

"This is one of three schools we are initiating right now. This summer we will begin, not only on this K through 8 school in Nocatee, but we'll begin construction on two additional schools in the district and it is a response to the growth," Forson said. 

Parents in Nocatee said they're happy and excited to hear new schools are coming to the area. One mom said she hopes the new school will help with overcrowding.

"In my experience, having 30 kids in a classroom, it's not what I want her to have so the more schools we have in Nocatee, the more space within the classrooms," said Zolia Palidino, parent. 

Construction for the new school is expected to start sometime in the spring and will open for students for the 2017-2018 school year.