Aerial view of Rutledge Pearson new building construction site

New schools emerging throughout Jacksonville thanks to half penny

Nov. 14, 2022 – With active construction underway on one full school replacement and design reveals held for three other full school replacements and one brand new school, the district is passing many milestones in its 15-year master facilities plan. These projects are funded by the half-penny sales tax approved by voters in 2020.

Besides moving forward with new school buildings, safety and security projects are in progress at 42 schools. Some safety and security projects have been delayed due to material shortages as well as the need to re-bid materials due to excessive costs. Even with these delays, all safety and security projects are on schedule to be completed in the three-year timeline as planned.

Revenue exceeds forecast but inflation offsets gains

Revenue from the half-penny funds the district’s master facilities plan. Through June 2022, the tax generated $172.44 million overall with about $149.4 million going to the district. Revenue is exceeding projections made when the tax was proposed. However, inflation of material and labor costs is offsetting the additional revenue.

State law requires that charter schools receive a portion of the funding based on enrollment. The charter school share was $23.06 million through June.

New school projects in progress

Economic factors haven’t impacted timelines for any of the major new school projects. Construction is underway at Rutledge Pearson Elementary School on the Northside. Recently, community meetings were held to share plans and transition impacts for:

  • The new Jean Ribault High School facility, expected to begin construction this summer and officially open in August 2025
  • A brand-new middle school in the Chaffee Trail area also expected to begin construction this summer with the opening set for Aug. 2024
  • A new school rebuild at Highlands Elementary School is expected to begin construction this summer. This school will serve students currently attending Pine Estates Elementary when the new school opens in 2024.
  • A new school rebuild for Southside Estates Elementary School is also expected to be under construction this summer.  This new school will serve students from Windy Hill when the new building opens in 2024.

See more

The district recently added new resources to its master facility plan tracking website.  Besides the in-depth project dashboard available here, community members can see photos and access report overviews and detailed reports from this progress page.  

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