Clay County school district leaders recently broke ground for an 868-student elementary school in the Oakleaf community, a move to try and help relieve overcrowding at neighboring schools in that rapidly growing section of the county.

 

Elementary School Y, as it’s called for now, is projected to open in the fall of 2018. The kindergarten through sixth grade school is under construction at 950 Oakleaf Plantation Parkway.

The layout and design is modeled after two other Clay elementary schools — Coppergate and RideOut. District leaders said the new school will have state-of-the-art technology.

The projected design and construction costs are about $20.8 million. The district owns the land.

In February, the county school board unanimously approved a contract for $852,800 with Bhide and Hall Architects P.A. for its services designing the new school. That is 4.1 percent of the total construction cost.

The district plans to use several funding sources including impact fees to pay for construction, officials have said.

School district Superintendent Addison Davis said the new elementary has been in the planning stages for several months.

“This build was glaringly necessary as the Oakleaf community continues to grow and we expect an influx of families moving to the area in the next few years,” Davis said.

Davis also said it’s the district’s responsibility “to plan for this growth and provide the best learning experiences for every child.”

“The district stands prepared to expand while continuing to offer high quality opportunities for students to succeed,” he said.

The district plans to establish a naming committee to bring recommendations to the school board. The committee will include community members, teachers, principals, school Student Advisory Council members, board members and Davis.

The committee will work together to discuss relevant ideas and survey the community before presenting the top three potential school names to the board.

Teresa Stepzinski: (904) 359-4075.