After seven months since the General Obligation Bond Progress town hall meeting in Miami Lakes Educational Center, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, School Board Chair Perla Tabares Hantman, as well as other school board members and community leaders, visited MLEC to commemorate improvements made to the school.
The ribbon cutting event on April 2nd celebrated the GO bond, which is currently funding about 200 projects with $1.2 billion across Miami-Dade schools. It was voted back in 2012 to provide necessary school renovations, enhancements, and technological updates.
The renovations made to MLEC and Technical College amounted to $2.5 million. Changes included a new covered walkway in the bus area, new flooring in the auditorium, upgrade of fire alarms and security systems, as well as new technology.
“Right here in Miami Lakes Tech, this is a seven and a half million dollar project broken up into two phases,” said Carvalho. “First phase we just completed already with two and a half million dollars. It’s basically cosmetic, so it’s walkway improvements and exterior painting and interior painting. The second phase is more structural, so common walkway and number of other improvements that’s valued to five million dollars.”
The first phase of the project was completed both under time and under budget.
“We made a promise to the voters when they approved [the renovations]. This is a promise made, a promise that has taken place very quickly,” said Hantman. “I am very proud of what we’re doing in many more schools. I represent this area. [MLEC] is very special to me so I’m very delighted we’re [doing] this.”
Projects similar to MLEC’s have taken place all throughout the county – deteriorating buildings are being replaced and repaired, and students are receiving new tablets.
“It’s important that students see that we care about them and that their learning environment is important to us and is it to them,” said Vivian Santiesteban-Pardo, Region Superintendent at Miami-Dade County Public Schools. “I don’t think any student wants to come into a building that is not inviting, that is not beautiful, and that is not apt for higher learning. So many projects are in the works and even new school buildings are going to be built.”
Jamie Torrens, Chief Facilities Officer, agreed and said, “The work that was done here was something that was needed for many years. We’ve always wanted to make sure the school had the appearance that it deserved for the students.”