ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla — St. Johns County is getting a new high school and it’s opening next Monday.
That is a few days past the official start of school for the county.
Action News Jax got a tour of the new home of the Beachside Barracudas a week ahead of the grand opening.
Construction on the new Beachside High School began in 2020 and is still ongoing.
While school leadership had hoped to begin on the official first day of school, the call was made to push the start date back.
“This main building here will be done within the next few days,” said Principal Greg Bergamasco.
Bergamasco said despite outward appearances, the school is ready.
“Our first orientation is on Thursday and this place will be in tip-top shape by Thursday awaiting those freshmen to come in,” said Bergamasco.
The school features some state-of-the-art technology, including large monitors in each classroom.
It will also be home to the district’s first biomedical and pre-veterinary academies.
In addition, the school will introduce the region’s first global logistics and supply chain management academy.
Bergamasco said the ongoing construction at the school provides a unique opportunity for the students to gain first-hand experience.
“We have textbooks that are going to be delivered here. They’re going to be helping in moving our textbooks throughout our campus,” said Bergamasco.
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St. Johns County is growing at the fastest rate in the state.
While the school may be starting with 1,200 students and no senior class, Bergamasco expects the school will soon reach its full capacity of 2,500 students..
“For us as a staff, if we always put kids first, and put that as our mission, no matter what happens here, you know we can overcome any obstacle. So, I think if our mission here is kids, which for everybody here it’s about, You know we will be able to meet any challenge that growth may have for us,” said Bergamasco.
Construction will likely continue throughout the fall semester, but Bergamasco does anticipate all the school’s buildings and facilities will be open to students and fully operational beginning in January.