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- 2014 - June - 27th -

School Board set to vote on JEA land swap

By Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

On the trail to create access to the riverfront JEA site, the Duval County School Board on Tuesday is scheduled to consider a land swap with the utility and the city.

The agreement is one of several sought by JEA to create access to the 30 acres formerly used as the Southside Generating Station. JEA wants to open that Southbank site for bids from developers in the fall, having postponed two deadlines already.

School board members will vote on an agreement to swap land at the riverfront Duval County Public Schools Administration Building at 1701 Prudential Drive, adjacent to the JEA site.

JEA is working with the city to extend Prudential Drive in front of the building to provide access to the generating station site. Duval County Public Schools owns a portion of Prudential Drive planned for the extension. Both the city and JEA want to make a swap for it.

JEA would swap about 1.2 acres of property and paved parking on the generating station site for about 1.2 acres on the school district’s area that includes the Prudential Drive extension and the south parking lot. Parking capacity would be the same or better.

The city would be the lead for the construction project and would require a temporary construction easement.

The school district’s replacement parking lot would be built first. Upon completion, the new road construction would start. No land transfer would take place until the final road construction is completed.

Expected outcomes are improved public access to the schools administration building with a new four-lane road and a combination of all school district property into one contiguous area instead of being split by Prudential Drive. The deal is expected to enhance the land value for the school system.

The board vote would approve the access and land swap, grant Superintendent Nikolai Vitti the authorization to make non-substantive and non-material changes to the agreement and authorize the board chairman and superintendent to execute the agreement and documents when approved by the Office of Legal Services.

In extending bids from developers who want to purchase part or all of the 30 acres, JEA said it wanted to provide time for the proposed access agreements to be officially considered and approved by the school district, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, the city and JEA.

After the school board approval, the framework agreement is expected to be considered by the JTA in August and the JEA board in September. The final agreement will need City Council approval.

The proposed road would merge with Broadcast Place and then continue under Interstate 95 to connect with the parking garage along Kings Avenue owned by JTA.

kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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