Case Study: Pine Island Academy

Written by: Rachel Washington and Alex Acree, PE

MDG provided engineering services associated with the design and permitting for a new K-8 MM Academy (now named Pine Island Academy) located on Pine Island Road at the future intersection of Crosswater Parkway in St. Johns County, Florida. The campus is on the 25-acre site and includes a new school building (127,000 SF) serving 1,500 students.

The site plan and construction plans depict the location and size of the proposed buildings, parking lot, bus drop-off ingress and egress, landscape and irrigation, stormwater management and drainage systems, and water and sewer utilities. Recreation areas include a kindergarten play area, outdoor basketball court, soccer field, softball field, and a six-foot wide asphalt recreation trail.

Key Facts About the Project

  1. Alex Acree, PE, was the project manager. Learn more about him here.
  2. MDG was a subconsultant to Harvard Jolly Architecture.
  3. Design elements included site stormwater conveyance and retention design, site utility service connections and lift station design and offsite improvement coordination.

Photo provided by St. Johns County School District

Main Challenge

Since the school was set to open in time for the new school year, it was important that it stick to the original timeline. One of the challenges that our engineers faced was the school access and utility coordination with the adjacent developer. 


In order to overcome this challenge, our land development team had to maintain continual communication with the adjacent developer on timing and completion of offsite improvements required to serve the school. Approximately 7,300’ of an existing dirt road was widened and paved to provide adequate access to the school site. Through frequent communication and collaboration between MDG and the developer, the widening was done on time and without disruption to the adjacent development. As a result, the school was able to open on time for the 2021-2022 school year.


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No project is ever perfect. Our engineers were able to overcome the main challenge in order to allow the school to open in time for the new school year. However, we like to reflect on completed projects in order to make future project smoother.

This project is no different. If asked to do this same project again, our engineers would pay closer attention to the site grading in the courtyard and recreation areas. This would have saved time and marginally expedited the process. 

Our Experience

MDG has been contracted to provide professional services for over 55 education-focused projects. Our team has also been selected as the civil engineer for continuing service contracts for St. Johns County School District, Clay County District Schools, Flagler Schools, Duval County School District, and St. Johns River State College. Four of these contracts are currently ongoing.

Pine Island Academy

MDG is proud to partner with Holly Jolly Architecture and the St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) on this project. 

Thank you to SJCSD for providing us with photos! Check out the school here.

In need of our land development services for your project? We would be happy to partner with you!


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