Architectural Plans Announced for San Jose Early College at Cecil

Posted by: San Jose Early College at Cecil   |   June 22, 2021

School choice means new opportunities in career and college readiness for young people on Jacksonville’s Westside. San Jose Early College at Cecil, a tuition-free charter high school, will open in August 2021. High school classes will be held during year one at the Kent and Cecil Center campuses of Florida State College of Jacksonville (FSCJ).

Preliminary architectural plans for the permanent home of San Jose Early College at Cecil (SJEC @ Cecil) have been announced. The school facility, once completed, will be located on the property at FSCJ Cecil Center with convenient access from New World Avenue.

San Jose Early College at Cecil is part of the San Jose Schools, an A-rated charter school system. These schools are managed by a nonprofit board of directors, River City Education Organization, Inc., in Jacksonville. School leaders announced this partnership with FSCJ at a groundbreaking ceremony in September of 2020. (At the time of the announcement, the new high school had not adopted its current name.)

Construction of the main building is expected to begin late in 2021, and it could be operational as early as August 2022. The building will include 27 classrooms/labs, a media center, a multipurpose career and technical education “maker space” and a large cafeteria with a commercial-style kitchen. Construction of the 10,000-seat sports/athletic stadium is planned for the 2022-23 school year.

“Our new school will complement the architecture of the existing FSCJ Cecil Center campus; however, it will show off its own unique identity as a state-of-the-art, modern high school campus,” said Randy Hudspeth, principal of San Jose Early College at Cecil. “The campus will offer a comprehensive academic, athletic and social environment for our student community.”

SJEC @ Cecil will offer early college opportunities including dual enrollment with FSCJ and an associate of arts degree while still in high school.

SJEC @ Cecil will specialize in “career academies,” which combine the teaching of academics, workplace skills and technology so that students leave high school prepared to work in highly sought-after professions. Students as young as 16 will complete industry certifications and gain on-the-job experience. SJEC @ Cecil expects to offer academies in aviation, financial technology, information technology and hospitality. San Jose Prep, which is our sister campus established in 2013 in the Mandarin neighborhood, will launch its first career academies in 2021 in early childhood development, hospitality, the performing arts and information technology.

“High quality career and technical education leads to less absenteeism from school, improved graduation rates and higher income levels for young people beyond graduation,” said Ryan Rewey, superintendent of schools for the San Jose Schools. Mr. Rewey oversees the educational programming at San Jose Primary (grades K-5), San Jose Prep (grades 6-12), San Jose Early College at Cecil (grades 9-12) (new in 2021), and San Jose Cyber Academy (K-12 online schooling) (new in 2021).

Mr. Rewey continued, “San Jose Early College at Cecil aims to make school a win-win-win situation for students, their families and the Jacksonville community. Students leave high school better prepared for real life; families save money with free access to college credits and industry certifications; Jacksonville’s economy soars when business leaders can hire a trained workforce from within Northeast Florida.”

The school’s permanent location, which will be in close proximity to the Cecil Commerce Center, will ensure that our students are surrounded by “tech giants” like Boeing, General Electric and Amazon. Community partnerships with industry groups and local businesses provide for an authentic learning experience.

Information sessions and tours of SJEC @ Cecil are available throughout the summer, both online and in person. The school is currently enrolling students into grades 9-12 from Duval and other Northeast Florida counties, such as Clay and Nassau counties.