One of the last legal hurdles before locating a new SEED School in Kendall for Miami-Dade County youth is scheduled for county commission action after a 9:30 a.m. public hearing, June 18, at the Stephen P. Clark Center in downtown Miami.
Zoning approvals are expected to permit construction of a three-story residential school — with classroom building, gymnasium, dining facility and dormitories — at 11025 SW 84 St. The school is designed for urban students who would benefit from living in a more academically oriented environment.
Known as “The Cottages,” the area is used by Miami-Dade County government for numerous community services.
Several buildings will be demolished to make way for new school construction and its campus on an 8.94-acre site leased through Miami-Dade Public Schools for a charter school within the existing complex.
The new school is designed to accommodate up to 400 students in 29 classrooms and provide both dining and sleeping facilities, occupying a total 149,700 square feet of building space. An additional 87,280 square feet is reserved for an outdoor recreation and play area as well as 153 parking spaces.
In 2014, Fran Allegra began serving as president of the SEED School of Miami, and Kara Locke, a former principal of a Washington, DC, school, as head of the Miami-Dade school, modeled after Washington and Maryland schools.
“At SEED, a campus is not just a campus — it’s literally a home for our students and for many staff who live there from Sunday evening through Friday afternoon,” Allegra said. “It’s where our students prepare for their futures as college graduates. The Kendall Cottages site will be a vibrant campus inspired by collegiate settings and designed to facilitate residential learning and development while adding minimal traffic or interruption to the existing community.”
The innovative Kendall school is designed to provide education on a daily basis from grades six through 12, spanning ages 10-21, from opening through October 2021. (A similar lease was granted in 2014 to Miami Horizon Corp., a Florida nonprofit, to provide continuing day care for autistic spectrum clients in a reconditioned cottage.)
The SEED School of Miami opened August 2014 on the Florida Memorial University campus in Miami Gardens, serving 60 sixth graders from throughout South Florida in a safe and secure 24-hour environment.
A charter contract with the school district provides operation of a college preparatory, boarding, charter school in two permanent campuses, Florida Memorial University and the Jessie Trice Community Health Center at 4692 NW 183 St., as well as a temporary campus at Kendall Cottages. Currently operating at FMU, the school plans expansion to another temporary location at 183 Street Center for the 2015-16 school year.
In 2010, the SEED Foundation partnered with Education Tomorrow, a Miami-based non-profit to open its first school in Florida, followed in November 2011 when the organization was selected to serve as school operator by Florida Department of Education and application approval by Miami-Dade County School Board in 2012.
The SEED School of Washington, DC, is the nation’s first public boarding school with a primary mission to provide an intensive, college preparatory educational program preparing students, academically and socially for college and life beyond.
The SEED Foundation was established in 1997 by Eric Adler and Rajiv Vinnakota in the belief that children in an urban environment could benefit from a public boarding educational program.
A year later, the SEED School of Washington, DC, opened its doors at The Capital Children’s Museum with 40 seventh grade students and added students each subsequent year. In 2004, SEED DC reached full capacity and graduated its first class of seniors, all of whom were accepted to college.