St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, Cathedral District-Jax Inc. and the University of Florida School of Architecture announced the formation of JaxLab CityLab-Jacksonville, a graduate degree program Downtown in the Cathedral District.
The University of Florida College of Design, Construction and Planning JaxLab CityLab-Jacksonville, is a special purpose educational site. As part of School of Architecture, JaxLab offers graduate degree programs in architecture and sustainability.
The graduate school, a $350,000 renovation project, will be next to St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral in 2,557 square feet on the third floor of an educational administrative building at 256 E. Church St.
“St. John’s Cathedral is in the forefront of a national dialogue regarding sacred places and re-thinking the use of these beautiful campus assets from looking inside to looking outside to meet the needs of the community,” Cathedral District Jacksonville President and CEO Ginny Myrick said in a news release July 20.
“In the Middle Ages, universities were born from cathedrals. We are eager to become a civic center for the urban core. We already host concerts and art exhibits for people of all faiths or no faith. We aim to fill our historic campus all week,” St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral Dean Kate Moorehead Carroll said in the release.
“Our motto is Love at the Core because we believe God is calling us to revitalize Jacksonville’s urban core and this is a great step towards new life downtown.”
Students in the JaxLab program have the opportunity to receive a master’s degree in sustainability or a master of architecture, the professional degree that leads to licensing as an architect.
The release said the program follows the same fully accredited curriculum as the main campus in Gainesville and focuses on design investigations of the cultural, social, technical, economic and environmental contexts that shape buildings and cities.
The project has been under negotiation since August 2020 between the University of Florida’s School of Architecture, St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral and Cathedral District-Jax Inc. with the assistance of Chip Bachara, managing partner of Bachara Construction Law Group, who represented the landlord pro bono throughout the negotiations.
The lead gift is from Preston and Joan Haskell, the Haskell Company and the Plummer Foundation. Other local donors continue to support the graduate school.
The school will be under the direction of Associate Dean and Program Director Nancy Clark.