Southside Expansion Update – January 2017

Editor’s Note: The issue of public school alternatives for the Brickell community remains high on the BHA Legislative Agenda as the need to serve Brickell families is acute. This article provides an update on efforts to convert Southside to a K-8 school. (Read background.)



Southside PTA representatives Elena Bondarenko and Rebecca Carter

Representatives of the Southside PTA provided the BHA board at its last meeting (January 17th) an update on their school’s issues. Renovation continues at Southside Elementary School on Building One. The hope is to have the work completed soon to allow for overcrowding relief and to accommodate anticipated increased student enrollment based on the school’s recent K-8 designation.

Meeting attendees were informed that the discussions between MDCPS and the City of Miami to build a new school and fire station at the site of Fire Station No. 4 were shelved given the difficulties with such a project. In the meantime, MDCPS is working on a new public/private partnership that would involve Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami, and Related Urban Division, as stated in school board item F4:

That the School Board of Miami-Dade County, Florida, authorize the Superintendent to finalize negotiations and execute an agreement between the School Board (“board”), the Related Urban Development Group (“developer”), the Miami-Dade County Public Housing and Community Development Department (“county”) and the City of Miami (“city”), and to provide a collaborative framework between the parties to develop a future educational facility at the site of the affordable and workforce housing project the Gallery at West Brickell located at the northwest corner of S.W. 2nd Avenue and S.W. 10th Street under which the following outcomes would be achieved:

  • Educational facility capacity amplification to serve the Brickell area, generally south of the Miami river;
  • Use of the Southside park facilities by students attending district schools in the Brickell area; and
  • Affordable and workforce housing opportunities for district employees at the Gallery at West Brickell


Rebecca Carter and Lala PIzarro, Southside PTA.

The school board item was passed unanimously on January 25th with the caveat that more detailed information must be submitted by district staff to the board before final project approval. As past BHA president Ernesto Cuesta said about the newly proposed project, “This is good news for all families living in the Brickell Area.” BHA supports the current efforts and we are hopeful of the timely resolution of this pressing community issue.

F-4 BRICKELL School Board Item 1-10-17-Final