Duval school district to bring in consultant to explore moving headquarters

District will determine next steps in early 2022

Duval County Public Schools headquarters on the Southbank.
Duval County Public Schools headquarters on the Southbank.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Duval County Public Schools is planning to bring in a consultant to assess the value of its riverfront headquarters as it moves forward with a possible move from the Southbank building.

The school board voted unanimously late last year in favor of a measure to explore the relocation of the district’s headquarters from a building where it has been for more than 40 years.

With the Southbank being developed for residential and commercial use, the school board wants to see if the timing is right for a move, the district said. Right now, the 104,000 square-foot building on Prudential Drive is valued at $12.3 million, according to the district.

“We know there’s an interest in this area, but we have to make the most conscientious decision in this matter and do what is best for our students, parents, employees and other stakeholders,” said Paul Soares, Assistant Superintendent of Operations. “We have a list of requirements to consider before we make any final decisions.”

The district said it plans to issue a solicitation for an external consultant to see if selling the building is worth it. The district will do so through an invitation-to-negotiate(ITN) process which will come out April.

The evaluation process will last through June with a recommendation going to the school board in July. The consultant will do their work for the rest of 2021 and the district will determine next steps in early 2022.

“They will also help the district determine how other buildings the district already owns might work in a final solution and assess other moving costs,” the district wrote in a post on its website.

Buildings like the Schultz Center are in play for possible relocation.

No surtax money from the recently approved sales tax measure would be used for the move, the district said.

“Relocating administrative offices would allow the building to be sold to a private company that would generate taxes and revenue, hence contributing to Jacksonville’s economy,” said Soares.  “We recognize this and will continue to engage the community about how and if this can be accomplished. Bringing on a consultant was an important step in this endeavor.”