Construction projects underway at 3 St. Johns County schools

Projects involve expansion in district struggling with overcrowding due growth

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ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – Several construction projects are currently underway at several public schools in St. Johns County.

Some of them involve expansion in the school district that struggles with overcrowding due to its continuous, rapid growth. 

Allen D. Nease High School in Ponte Vedra Beach, Patriot Oaks Academy in the Durbin Crossing area and Switzerland Point Middle School in Fruit Cove are three of the district's schools currently undergoing renovations. 

The county has gone through rezoning several times in the last few years -- something many parents don’t like, but something the district says is inevitable.

The district needs to build 20 new schools in the next 10 years to keep up with the growth. 

Two new K-8 schools will officially open in August for the 2018-2019 school year: Palm Valley Academy will open in Nocatee and Freedom Crossing Academy in Aberdeen. 

Below are the three St. Johns County schools currently undergoing expansion projects and what each of those projects entail:

1. Nease High School  

  • Pod renovations and additional site improvements.
  • Athletic and multipurpose field expansion and reconfiguration.
  • Security improvements that are fully funded by the half-cent sales surtax initiative.
  • The above projects are in addition to the 60,000-square-foot, 510-student station classroom building addition, which was completed before the 2017-2018 school year.

2. Patriot Oaks Academy 

  • Dining additions, which will utilize the design used for the dining addition at Valley Ridge Academy, with minor modifications that will decrease cost and increase usable floor space.

3. Switzerland Point Middle School  

  • An approximately 3,000-square-foot dining addition, which includes minor renovations to the existing dining room and the addition of a new serving line.

In 2017, Superintendent Tim Forson said the district added nearly 2,000 students. The district currently has more than 36,000 students.