JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The St. Johns County School Board on Tuesday accepted a $59.4 million bid to build a new K-8 school in the northern part of the county.
In April, the school district decided to reject three bids to build the school because they came in too high and later reopened the bidding process.
Construction on the new school is now moving forward again after the district accepted the lowest bid from St. Augustine-based STG Contracting Group to build a new K-8 in the Shearwater neighborhood between County Road 210 and County Road 16. Two years ago, the district built the exact same model school for $37.2 million.
The new school is needed to alleviate overcrowding in the fast-growing northern part of the county near the Duval County line.
But the district may have been able to build the same school for $3 million less if it had accepted a bid from the same company in April, but the district said it didn’t have faith it would finish construction on time. The district originally wanted to open the school in the fall of 2023.
When the bids were first opened, two of the bids were over $60 million — Culpepper Construction Company at $67.5 million and D.E. Scorpio Corporation at $62.5 million — but one of the bids was from STG Contracting for $56.2 million.
The district said the high cost of the first round of bids was likely a result of inflation and the accelerated timeline for construction, so the school board decided to push the target open date back to 2024.
This time around, all of the bids came in higher than the first bidding process.
In a statement to News4JAX the school district said:
Two more K-8 schools are also set for construction in the nearby Beacon Lakes and River Town neighborhoods. Those schools are also expected to open for the 2024 school year.
Beachside High School is also set to open this fall in the Beachwalk community.