The latest amenity expansion at Nocatee is inspiring the next generation of construction professionals on the First Coast.
High school students from Duval, Clay, Putnam and St. Johns counties got a behind-the-scenes look at the ongoing development of the new Nocatee Spray Park at one of the nation’s best-selling communities this month.
Students interested in construction-related careers were invited to tour the innovative, multimillion-dollar project underway in the heart of the growing community.
“The Nocatee Spray Park offers students a truly unique opportunity to witness a wide range of construction work all in one place,” said Mo Rudolph, Director of Planning and Development at The PARC Group, the developers of Nocatee. “This is a case study in state-of-the-art, complex construction. We’re building one structure made entirely of concrete block, one made from timber, and one from steel — not to mention the tallest water slide tower in Northeast Florida.”
The PARC Group partnered with the Florida First Coast Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the Northeast Florida Builders Association (NEFBA) and Carlton Construction to host the event. ABC volunteers reached out to area schools with career and technical programs related to construction, and 90 students from nine schools attended.
Inspiring future construction professionals at a critical time for the industry
Students toured various aspects of the active construction site, including the:
• Custom-designed bandshell and stage
• Commercial food service building
• 20,000-component spray playground
• Office and restroom buildings
Several contractors working on the job — many of whom graduated from the NEFBA apprenticeship program and local high schools — spoke to students about the career opportunities in the construction industry. They also heard from the construction manager and the project’s superintendent.
“The construction industry is experiencing a labor shortage. More than 80 percent of ABC members report having trouble finding appropriately skilled labor,” said Karin Tucker Hoffman, President/CEO of ABC’s Florida First Coast Chapter. “And it’s not getting better: Commercial construction is projected to face a deficit of 1.1 million workers over the next decade. That’s why we’re committed to workforce development and educating young people about the high-paying and rewarding career opportunities in construction through events like this.”
Representatives from NEFBA also provided students with information about its apprenticeship programs. The trade association sponsors four-year apprenticeship training for local students in the areas of carpentry, electrical, HVAC and plumbing.
A one-of-a-kind amenity for Northeast Florida’s premier community
The Nocatee Spray Park is the first and only of its kind in the region. The four-story, above-ground, interactive spray playground will serve as the centerpiece of the latest major amenity expansion at Nocatee.
“Some neighborhoods have a community pool,” said Rudolph. “We’ve taken that concept way beyond to offer residents resort-style living and world-class amenities right in their backyard.”
The Spray Park will feature a 42-foot water slide tower, five slides, Blue Water Bar & Grill and a resort-style beach. With more than 100,000 square feet, the park is the largest addition to the master-planned community since its founding more than a decade ago.
These amenities add to the exciting options residents already enjoy at the Nocatee Splash Water Park, which includes water slides, a lagoon pool, a slow-moving lazy river, a rapid-tide whirlpool, and a 377-foot zip line to fly above it all.
Expanded space for concerts, festivals and more
Adjacent to the Nocatee Spray Park is a newly expanded activities field to accommodate the community’s growing range of entertainment and activities. The space will host events such as the Nocatee Farmers Market, festivals like Roscolusa and drive-in movies.
The event field will also include a newly constructed bandshell for live concerts. The custom-designed stage will feature cedar roofing, which provides excellent acoustics and speaks to the attention to detail and craftsmanship in the expansion.
“The energy and spirit of growth at Nocatee is fueling this project, and I think residents are going to feel that when they make memories here,” said Rudolph. “I’ve been working in the construction and development industry for 30 years, and I’ve never seen a project like this.”
The Nocatee Spray Park will be located between the Nocatee Community Park and Nocatee Swim Club, on the eastern side of Crosswater Parkway. It is slated to open within the next few months.
For more information on the amenity expansion and the Nocatee lifestyle, visit www.nocatee.com, stop by the Nocatee Welcome Center or call 1-904-924-6863.
Nocatee is a master-planned community with a balanced approach to development to provide a wide variety of residential lifestyles, employment opportunities, shopping, schools, civic uses and recreation. Almost 7,000 families now call Nocatee home, enjoying unrivaled amenities and easy access to Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach and St. Augustine. The community offers several neighborhoods with homes priced from the $200s to more than $1 million. To learn more about the Nocatee lifestyle, call 1-800-NOCATEE or visit www.nocatee.com.