JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Story published 6/12/19:
The Duval County School District revealed a new master plan Tuesday aimed to fix aging schools in the district. The “bold” plan includes the construction and renovations of dozens of schools, totaling at approximately $1.9 billion.
In January, Action News Jax reported DCPS had the oldest school buildings in the state. The Assistant Superintendent of Operations said the district was working to maintain these buildings with a lack of funding.
Collaboration of expert research and community feedback, Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene presented her recommendation for a master plan to the school board Tuesday.
Her statement said in part, “It is a collaborative vision that represents the hours of tireless work from staff as well as the passionate input from our community. It also reflects what I truly believe is a better future for our children and for our community."
The four main highlights of the proposal include construction, consolidation, reduction, and safety enhancements.
Action News Jax found the plan includes the construction of 28 new schools as either replacements in the same location or an approved alternate location. 40 other schools will be consolidated to new or renovated buildings. 58 campuses will receive security or safety upgrades. About 438 portables will be removed from the district.
Dr. Greene said public input has shaped the master plan. She said changes included preserving the historic architecture of Kirby-Smith Middle School and Loretto Elementary School. The initial plan called for both schools to be demolished and rebuilt.
Parents spoke out against the consolidation of William Raines High Schools and Jean Rebault High School, for grades 6-12. The new plans offer new buildings for each schools, grades 9-12.
The changes also includes the expansion of Chets Creek Elementary School by adding new classrooms to address over-utilization.
The plan has a 15 year timeline that could rely on voters passing a half-cent sales tax proposal. The District has proposed this motion to contribute to the renovations for this master plan. They are working with Jacksonville City Council to try to get it on the ballot for a special election in November.
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