Unfortunately, schools today are too often planned without the local neighborhood in mind. At Palencia, however, planners turned back the clock to locate the elementary school in the heart of the community and well-connected to homes with a network of walking paths, boardwalks and sidewalks. The St. Johns County School Board recently commenced construction of their latest school with plans to be open for the 2012-13 school year.
Long a part of Palencia’s grand vision, “Elementary School L”, as it is currently called, will be home to over 700 students in 44 state-of-the-
Even more exciting than welcomed relief from overcrowded schools for Palencia’s children and their parents is the return to a simpler, more convenient place and time.
According to recent studies, in 1969, more than 50% of children walked or rode their bikes to school. Today, that figure has dropped to below 13%. In an era of rising gas prices and time-crunched families, the prospect of children being able to comfortably walk or bike to school is an alluring proposition to both parents and children. Parents may be able to cut back on a seemingly endless number of time- and gas-guzzling SUV runs and children will gain the chance to experience the valuable sense of independence and self-responsibility that their parents once enjoyed in their childhood days. Responsibility that can translate into increased self-confidence for many other areas of life.
Palencia’s new elementary school will be ideally situated inside its main entrance, adjacent to its beautiful lakefront Palencia Park. The park includes a pirate-ship themed playground, covered pavilion and picnic areas– already a popular area for birthday parties and casual gatherings. The park also sits next to expansive athletic facilities including basketball courts, baseball, softball, soccer and football fields, supervised by St. Johns County Division of Parks and Recreation.
Like all of Palencia’s thoughtful and innovative master plan, the new school promises to further enhance Palencia’s already strong sense of community and resident pride. Other notable elements of the master plan crafted by Hines, Palencia’s developer, include a variety of residential options (including single-family, multi-family and live-work homes in a town-center setting); resort-style recreational amenities such as an 18-hole championship Arthur Hills golf course with 33,000 SF clubhouse; swim and fitness club; tennis and basketball courts); neighborhood pocket parks; and an interconnected network of trails and boardwalks that traverse beautiful wetland and marsh areas and extend all the way out to the Tolomato River.
The new elementary school has not only attracted new residents to the community but also reenergized Palencia’s reknowned group of homebuilders including ICI Homes, Glenn Layton Homes, Arthur Rutenberg Homes, Bryan Lendry Custom Homes, Cornerstone Homes, Dostie Homes, The Cottage Home Company and the J.L. Linder Group. These builders all have experience in creating custom homes within Palencia and have adjusted their construction costs and land basis to deliver new homes at values that are pulling buyers away from short sales and foreclosures. Buyers prefer the security that new home warranties offer compared to the unforeseen risks inherent with distressed homes.
Traffic and sales are continuing to pick up steam in the neighborhood. If current trends hold, the builders expect to see shorter SUV lines in the parking lots of area schools and longer lines outside the door of the Palencia sales center.
For more information about Palencia, call the Palencia Sales Center at
904-810-0500, log onto www.vivapalencia.com and www.thepalenciaclub.com or visit the sales center located 1 mile east of the intersection of US 1 and International Golf Parkway.
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Hines is a privately owned real estate firm involved in real estate investment, development and property management worldwide. With offices in 106 cities in 17 countries and controlled assets valued at approximately $23.7 billion, Hines is one of the largest real estate organizations in the world and a global leader in sustainable real estate strategies. Visit www.hines.com for more information.