A rendering of the proposed new main entrance to the Episcopal School of Jacksonville

Episcopal School reshaping entrance

New entrance “will create a stronger public identity and sense of arrival.”
Feb. 6, 2018

Episcopal School of Jacksonville is demolishing the office building it owns at its entrance along Atlantic Boulevard.

That structure, at 4521 Atlantic Blvd., will be removed to make way for a new entrance for the school at 4455 Atlantic Blvd.

Realco Recycling Co. Inc. will handle the demolition at a cost of $40,000.

Episcopal spokeswoman Meg Sacks said the new entrance is part of the $17 million Lead the Way capital campaign and was one of the needs identified in Episcopal’s Campus Master Plan. 

“The new entrance will create a stronger public identity and sense of arrival for the school, as the current entrance is easy to miss,” she said.

The Jacksonville Planning Commission will review an application for a minor modification to a planned unit development. The hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.

Almond Engineering is the consulting civil engineer and applicant.

In a PUD written description, Almond Engineering said the purpose is to allow modifications to the main campus entrance for increased security with a new staffed security guard building and entry security gates; enhanced main campus signage; new entryway landscaped areas; and the realignment of St. Elmo Drive to improve traffic circulation and entry space for the proposed guard gate and security building.

The modification also seeks to include the 4521 Atlantic Blvd. parcel and structure, formerly a medical office building, into the limits of the PUD. 

The structure will be removed and replaced with landscaping to enhance the school entrance, said the description.

The riverfront campus comprises 56 acres where Atlantic Boulevard meets the Hart Bridge access ramp. The private Episcopal School teaches students from grades six through 12.

The school also proposes to put up several new campus signs that include a large entrance sign at Munnerlyn and St. Elmo drives. It also plans enhanced campus wayfinding and directional signage.

A preliminary PUD sign plan also shows a future administration building past the new security pavilion. Sacks said that plan is conceptual and may be part of a later phase of the school’s master planning

Sacks said that the school’s Knight Campus, which the capital campaign developed to include multiple sports facilities, also will have a new entrance with a traffic light. That campus, at 6757 Atlantic Blvd., is 2 miles east of the main campus.

“The architectural style of both entrances will match, connecting these two properties and identifying them as belonging to ESJ,” Sacks said by email.

Dalgliesh Gilpin Paxton Architects of Charlottesville, Virginia, is the architect chosen to create the front entrances.