Upon return from winter break, students at Miami Palmetto Senior High School walked into a brand-new school. Although there are two more phases to the overall campus renovation, the on-time opening of the new buildings is being celebrated.
“It has been a remarkably smooth opening, considering that the teachers, furniture and school materials were all moved in two short weeks,” said Principal Victoria Dobbs. “The students figured out where they were going and settled into the new surroundings well.”
Getting up and running was no small task. Besides moving books and people, the electrical plant, internet service, plumbing, security and air conditioning had to be highly coordinated. In particular, the campus wide cooling is now powered by a brand new and much larger chiller.
By walking the halls one can see finishing touches are still needed. The paint on the wall is thin and blotchy in spots, there are building expansion joints that are uncovered and during the first two days back it was discovered that two main exterior stairwells needed more than a simple railing for safety. That was quickly rectified with some temporary fencing, and a decorative permanent solution is now in the works.
Students seem thrilled with their new digs. They comment about how it now feels like a college campus, especially the new courtyard area. The large windows let in both an abundance of light and are openable to allow fresh air in the classrooms. Security, with cameras and gates, has been vastly improved. Principal Dobbs says she has added extra security officers and safety is a primary goal.
10th-grader Isabella remarks, “The classrooms are better. Less clustered and we have more space. I do have one complaint, the bathroom only has one mirror.”
Senior Andrew said, “It’s nice, but the hallways and stairs are small and packed between classes.”
10th-grader Camila added, “The paint colors and finishes make me feel happy to be in school.”
Within the big construction project, there are small stories too. A nice surprise was seeing College Guidance Counselor Dr. Harry Nerenberg get a present from his students. \
“When I moved to my new office, I had to say goodbye to my old love seat that I brought in to school after Hurricane Andrew,” explained Nerenberg. “It was already old in 1993 but it was my comfort and the kids loved it. It was simply too old and worn to bring to my brand-new office.” Upon discovering this, his students pooled money together and personally purchased a full-sized couch. “I love my students and their generosity!”
You can learn more at miamihal.com/hals-blog/newmpsh
Real Estate Update
As of January 24, the Pinecrest market is a buyer’s market. A healthy $1M+ market has 6-9 months of inventory. Pinecrest currently has 19 months of inventory to absorb.
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