New School for Spring Park Elementary

New School for Spring Park Elementary
Spring Park Elementary, long after its massive 1968 fire, will finally get the phoenix-style revival it deserves. Groundbreaking for an all-new facility for the school is slated for April 4, on what is now St. Nicholas Park property. With a budget exceeding $25 million, student capacity will almost double, and the learning capacity will be enhanced thanks to several technological innovations. | Rendering/DCPS

After 81 years, Spring Park Elementary is finally getting a brand-new school. The groundbreaking ceremony will be held April 4, and it is expected to be completed by August 2025. Estimated budget for the new school is $25,847,200. The completed project will give the school a capacity of 794; the school currently has 470 students.

“It’s been slow coming,” said Lyn Corley, 30-year volunteer at Spring Park Elementary. “It’s just a left-behind school. But it has blossomed.”

The school was built around the same time as Henricks Avenue Elementary School with a similar layout, but a fire in April 1968 destroyed the main wing of Spring Park Elementary School. Arson was suspected and damage was estimated at $300,000 at the time. When the school was rebuilt, the windows were filled in and not replaced. Instead, fire escape doors were put into the classrooms, according to Spring Park Elementary School Principal Davina Parker.

The new school will be built on the adjacent St. Nicholas Park property, which belongs to the city. Land swap negotiations between Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) and the city’s Parks Department are ongoing.

Some of the new features will include a dedicated STEM lab, media center with maker’s space, four playgrounds, computer lab and technological innovations like interactive boards.

“The boards are interactive and having that kind of technology, where they get instant feedback and the correct answer right away, that’s what our kids need,” Parker said. “This gives us the opportunity to catch up and propel them forward.”

A rendering of the anticipated new Spring Park Elementary facility. | Rendering/DCPS
A rendering of the anticipated new Spring Park Elementary facility. | Rendering/DCPS

The new school is part of the Master Facility Plan (MFP), paid for in part by the half-penny referendum passed by Duval County voters in 2020, and developed by the DCPS to address aging buildings, create safe and secure spaces for students and staff, remove most of the portable classrooms, decrease excess seat capacity and increase utilization of existing seat capacity.

As part of the MFP, Englewood Elementary School is getting a new school as well. Once both new schools are open, Love Grove Elementary School will close. Students from that school will be split between Spring Park and Englewood. The new school boundaries have yet to be drawn, but meetings with parents and community leaders are ongoing.

“These students might come from poverty, they may be immigrants, or just a refugee, really any walk of life, and they walk into a space that’s there’s, that they can take pride in, that’s clean, that’s new and innovative, and that they have the newest things at their fingertips…That can really impact them.” Parker said. “It shows how much you care for them and how much you want them to have this level of excellence. It’s not only aesthetics, but the excellence we can provide them.”

By Jennifer Jensen
Resident Community News

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)