A cafeteria expansion groundbreaking brought more than 100 school administrators, faculty and parents to Winston Park K-8 Center on Dec. 9.
The expansion was marked by a formal groundbreaking with gold-tinted shovels wielded by a dozen Miami-Dade Schools officials joined by scores of K-8 Center PTSA and Winston Park Homeowner Association members, as well as Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez, as part of his duties with Miami-Dade Schools’ “Principal for the Day” program.
Guests, seated on white-covered chairs tied with red ribbons, enjoyed a holiday touch as a Sunset Senior High School Junior ROTC color guard opened the event in the school’s central plaza before a background of twinkling lights.
With hundreds of Winston Park K-8’s nearly 1,300 students following the event on “streamed” classroom computers, principal Giovanna M. Blanco thanked scores of officials and parents credited for moving the project forward.
“Recent economic times have made it difficult to fund any new school facilities, no matter how badly needed,” explained Carlos L. Curbelo, Miami-Dade School Board District 7 member.
“This is a credit to a partnership between community and its people working together to improve its school,” he added.
“Every time we had another meeting with the school system, we were assured the addition would begin in two months,” said Sherry Maer, one of several leaders who began working for the addition before Winston Park Elementary School was converted to a K-8 Center five years ago.
“Community members met with Mr. Curbelo, asking for his help to alleviate the shortage of cafeteria space that has plagued our school for six years,” she added.
During a November Winston Park HOA meeting, a celebration day was announced when Curbelo said $990,000 in school funding had been allocated for the cafeteria expansion scheduled to begin construction in January 2012.
The new 2,900-square-foot, one-story building will add 136 cafeteria seats to relieve overcrowding, including an additional serving line, storage facilities and a trash compactor.
“This was truly a community-wide effort to improve its school,” Curbelo concluded. “That’s what lies behind the success of every public school system.”