ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – News4JAX on Monday got a firsthand look at St. Johns County’s new Beachside High School before the start of the 2022-23 academic year.
While the school will be open for the new school year, the first day of classes for Beachside High students will be delayed.
In a message sent earlier this month to parents, the St. Johns County School District said the first day of school for Beachside students will be Aug. 15 due to challenges that impacted the construction and preparation of the school.
“Both material supplies and manpower have been in high demand in the construction industry and have slowed construction projects throughout the country,” the message reads, in part. “At Beachside, the academic building, administration building, cafeteria, and other program resources will be ready for operation. The delayed start at Beachside will allow for continued critical site work and allow for continued progress on the gymnasium and auditorium.”
The first day of school for all other St. Johns County students is Wednesday.
According to the school district, Beachside High “promises to be a state-of-the-art comprehensive school for all students with high-quality academy programs and exceptional assets to serve students and teachers.”
Although it’s a ways from the ocean, the new school is located on Beachwalk Boulevard inside Beachwalk, a private masterplan community in St. Johns that features an artificial 14-acre lagoon with an artificial beach. The Beachwalk community is located on County Road 210 just east of Interstate 95 and encompasses 900 acres.
“Until our buildings are ready, our gym and football field, some of those -- volleyball, football, they’ll be played at other places in St. Johns County,” explained Principal Greg Bergamasco. “Of course, we want to be here, that will happen.”
Bergamasco said the school colors will be blue, lime green and gray. The mascot name is the Barracudas.
The school is expected to have more than 2,000 students and alleviate overcrowding issues at other schools nearby. It will be the first in St. Johns County to offer students a pre-veterinary academy, where students get hands-on experience with various animals.
“We’ll have animals come on campus with a visitor, and also have some of our own classrooms pets so students can handle the animals, the behavioral aspects of it,” explained Kendra Stone, career specialist.
Beachside High will offer the district’s first biomedical academy. The entire school is outfitted with state of the art technology and large TV monitors in every room.
The school will also introduce the region’s first global logistics and supply chain management academy.