District wants to relieve overcrowding at St. Johns County middle school

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – Parents in St. Johns County are voicing mixed feelings about a plan to change an elementary school into a kindergarten through eighth-grade school, also known as an academy.

It’s a way for the district to relieve overcrowding at Pacetti Bay Middle School since the district hasn’t been able to buy new land for a new middle school. 

While not all parents agree on the plan, they all agree that overcrowding is a problem in schools. They want a solution. 

Amanda Wells said her children attend Wards Creek Elementary School and are supposed to attend Pacetti Middle School, but the middle school is overcrowded. 

“Way too many homes -- I mean, even going down (State Road) 16, they've got all kinds of communities coming in and then we've got more shopping centers now, but they're not giving us a place for our education. Children getting an education is the big thing,” said Wells.

She’s thankful the district acknowledges the problem. But some parents said they don’t like this idea.

“I'm actually not for it. I think it's a temporary fix to a permanent problem. They already know tons of houses are coming in,” said Patrick Dodson, who has two children at Pacetti Bay Middle School. 

Upperclassmen would have their own wing and students wouldn’t be affected by the construction needed to expand the school.

Mill Creek is just a part of the growing trend in St. Johns County to help with the rapid growth. The district plans to open another two academies in August.

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