Rennovations at Westside Middle School - Half-Penny Sales Tax

More than just new schools: Other ways the half-penny tax is benefitting schools

Oct. 24, 2023 – When it comes to how the district is using revenue from the voter-approved half-penny sales tax, much attention is going to the construction of new schools like Rutledge H. Pearson Elementary. Yet building new campuses represents just one part of a broad Master Facility Plan that includes expanding, renovating, repairing, and upgrading schools across the district.   

“Not all of the work is grand, huge projects like Pearson.” said Erika Harding, Assistant Superintendent of Operations. “We’re in dozens of schools every year addressing critical systems like air conditioning and now designing major renovations at a handful of schools. The team is working really hard for the families of Duval County.” 

Under the plan, several schools are slated to receive new additions, renovations, and much-needed maintenance. Harding says that a lot of this work is taking place “behind the scenes” in stages that range from design development to logistics and to on-site studies. Here’s a closer look at some of the active projects taking place across the district:  

Mandarin High School 

Work is underway to construct a new building with 14 classrooms at Mandarin High School. The addition will help the school address increased enrollment as well as enhance existing CTE programs.  

Project Summary: Two culinary labs and kitchens and a culinary dining/classroom will be added in support of the Culinary Arts program. A medical lab, simulation lab, storage, and one class will be added in support of the Medical Program.  

Other projects include improving the driver’s education course, installing security fencing, and ADA upgrades. 

Anticipated Completion: August 2025 

Fletcher High School 

Fletcher is another high school slated to receive new building additions to accommodate increased enrollment and enhance CTE programs.  

Project Summary: Two new eight-classroom buildings will be constructed on campus. These buildings will house new labs for Digital Design and Outboard Marine Service Technology.  Twenty-one portables will be removed.  

Anticipated Completion: August 2025 

North Shore Elementary School 

North Shore Elementary is one of many schools slated to receive deferred maintenance under the Master Facility Plan. Deferred maintenance refers to repairs that have been postponed due to district budget cuts and underfunding.  

Project Summary: Work includes repairing and replacing mechanical, electrical, plumbing, security, and fire detection and alarm equipment. Other projects include flooring replacement and HVAC. 

Anticipated Completion: March 2024 

Westside Middle School 

Work has begun to bring expansion, renovations, and deferred maintenance to Westside Middle School.  

Project Summary: The school’s cafeteria and kitchen will be expanded. Renovations in two of the school’s buildings have begun.  

Anticipated Completion: August 2024 

Sandalwood High School 

District leaders are in the process of requesting bids from contractors to renovate and make additions to Sandalwood High School.   

Project Summary: Two additions will be added to the existing campus. Portable classrooms will be reduced or removed upon completion.  

Anticipated Completion: July 2026

Ongoing Safety and Security Upgrades 

The district remains on track to meet its goal of improving safety and security in all schools within the first three years of receiving revenue from the half-cent sales tax. Some recent projects include adding new light poles at Fletcher Middle School, modifying entry vestibules at Biscayne Elementary and Highlands Middle, and installing badge-controlled access at multiple schools.  

Tracking our progress 

As projects within the Master Facility Plan advance, information and timelines are subject to change. You can remain up to date by visiting the project dashboard on the district’s Half-Penny Sales Tax Page. 

Accessibility Statement | Privacy Policy
Admin Login