The school boasts organic and hydroponic gardens, with rain water collected on the roof to irrigate the plants. All of the cafeteria’s meals will be made from scratch with natural, minimally processed and nutritious ingredients, such as sweet potatoes and whole-grain pasta in the school’s state-of-the art kitchen. They will be serving up lessons on nutrition along with good eats, said Kathleen Damiano, food service manager.

“As a mother, that it is a healthy living school is really important, because the school is preparing the children for a healthy lifestyle for life,” said Madson.

Palencia is the second new school that Campbell has opened in the county. In 2007, he opened Wards Creek Elementary School.

“It is so exciting, because you get to build the culture from the ground up. So, you work with the students, the teachers, the parents and make the school what they want it to be,” Campbell said.

Copyright (c) 2012, The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, Fla.). Visit The Florida Times-Union online at www.jacksonville.com. Distributed by MCT Information Services.

For more school construction news, see:

Anatomy of a school construction project

Schools moving away from hallway lockers

‘Building Excellence’ section of eSN Online