Duval County Schools: Creating Schools for the Future

Marian Wright Edelman eloquently stated that, “education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” As one of Florida’s seven major metropolitan school districts and the oldest, Duval County Public Schools has their sights on the future focusing on creating healthy and safe environments for children to learn and teachers to teach.

The District serves approximately 127, 000 students in the urban, suburban, and rural areas of the City of Jacksonville and Duval County, Florida and operates 194 elementary, middle, and high schools as well as specialized learning facilities. As the need for education and funding increases year over year, state funding cuts have been occurring since 2008 and have reduced facility funding by more than $300 million. The reduction in funding has led to a decrease in urgent priorities, which has led to a backlog of maintenance.

Realizing the impact on their students and teachers, the District awarded Jacobs to be the Construction Management Agent/Owner’s Representative (CMA/OR) to manage their Master Facility Plan (MFP) program. Funded through a half-penny sales tax that voters approved  in November 2020, this contract addresses aging buildings, creating safe and secure spaces for students and staff, removing most of the district’s portable classrooms, decreasing excess seat capacity, and increasing utilization.  Additionally, this plan removes more than $1 billion dollars in deferred facility maintenance.

“We have a tremendous opportunity to partner with Duval County Schools and guide them through this pivotal period of rebuilding and renovation,” says Tom Meinhart, Senior Vice President, People & Places Solutions. “During the next 15 years, the half-penny funds Duval County citizens approved will ultimately result in safer schools and improved learning environments in Florida’s oldest school district. “

This referendum is also expected to provide a community-wide economic stimulus, boosting the economy, expediting the road to recovery, creating thousands of jobs, and helping hundreds of businesses in Duval County.

Construction around priority safety and security projects has already begun and will extend into the 2022 school year. This includes initiatives for every school to receive safety and security upgrades in the first three years. There are many factors that contribute to a school’s ability to educate future generations — including the physical building itself. Our teams are implementing the architectural and engineering needs for the rebuilds and renovation projects to support newer, safer and more technologically advanced schools for students.

Education is the groundwork for a better future and Duval County Public Schools is leading the way to create such an experience for their bright young minds. To stay updated on this project, visit their website.


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