The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


District Woes Backtrack Phase 2 of Gables Renovations

Campus sites remain unattended to after months of planning.
Andres Rodriguez
The band room is blocked off to students and teachers, preventing the direct passage from the 9000 to the 6000 outdoor cafeterias.

A new wave of construction has swept Coral Gables Senior High, taking the form of “Phase II”, which is the second part of the county’s revamping project. Concurrently occurring with classes and afterschool events, these campus modifications have lasted much longer than anticipated. As the Gables student body and faculty approaches the holiday break, it only further delays the process of renovating the old buildings.

Across the board, Miami Dade County Public Schools is committed to “building the future” for both students and educators to thrive. In the past decade, Gables has received district inspections to assess the needs of its classrooms, corridors and structures. However, these decisions are made without taking campus life into consideration.

The 21st Century Schools Bond Advisory Committee proposed a plan to rebuild Gables in 2018, after allocating $11 million to the school’s construction budget. So far, the only goal that has been executed by the Bond Committee is the construction of the 6000 building. This was a part of Phase I. Many other aspects of Gables are still pending attention or adequate resources.

When it rains, I have to get wet instead of going into through the [music] building that is under construction. I [also] don’t like the AC’s. They are too cold. I think the county should allow teachers to control the temperatures of the room,”

— junior Juan Mercadillo

“These plans were done for many years prior to me even arriving here. The determination [for the construction project] was made via different district walkthroughs to determine what the highest needs were in particular schools,” principal Tony Ullivari said.

Other high schools under the jurisdiction of MDCPS have restructured their facilities as well. Recently, Southwest Senior High School received $16.3 million to fund internal improvements and a new Air Conditioning unit.

The Gables community awaits similar improvements to its older buildings. Adjacent to the Spanish courtyard, the band and chorus room are being gutted for structural issues. Windows and ceiling insulation are being installed; the process of electrical wiring is also underway. This causes a major problem as students cannot maneuver around the school like they used to.

Unfortunately, these renovations to the band room have shifted the rules of traffic flow during school hours. Instead of walking through the hallway connecting the pavilion and the 6000 outdoor cafeteria, Gables students and faculty must avoid that corridor since it has been occupied for the band room’s revamping. This process started last school year and has yet to be completed. This change forces students to crowd into the new building to avoid wetting their belongings.

“I don’t work in construction, but because of my age and the time I have been in Miami all my life, I know that construction does have setbacks. We would have liked for [the band room construction] to be done yesterday but we know that things will happen. Unfortunately, we as staff and students kind of suffer from it. It’s something you have to expect,” assistant principal Mr. Curtis said.

An additional component that Phase II promised was improved air conditioning. This school year, the district has granted most Gables classrooms with temporary AC units until further notice. Nevertheless, certain classrooms lack these installments while others are uncomfortably colder. Teachers in particular should have access to AC units that permit them to control the temperature of their classrooms.

“Yes, I would [like to control AC in my classroom]. Sometimes during the morning it is very cold so I would like to have the opportunity to pull up my AC a little bit. On the other hand, in the afternoon when it’s kind of hot in here, I would love to have the opportunity to lower my AC,” Mrs. Aliette Sanchez said.

Gables has received generous funds from the alumni organization, Friends of Gables High, to supplement the areas not covered in the district wide project. In August, FOGH revealed its new teachers’ lounge which is now a safe haven for teachers after a long workday. This space was not covered by the district plan; it is rather a beneficial course of action for the Gables staff.

“Right now, Friends of Gables is looking to see where else they can supplement what the Bond Committee is not going to be able to do,” principal Ullivari said.

Phase II of Gables’ renovation project has encountered many problems along the road. In terms of students and faculty, the process of construction must be cleaned up in order to reopen renovated facilities to the public.

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About the Contributor
Andres Rodriguez
Andres Rodriguez, CavsConnect Sports Editor

Andres Rodriguez is a junior and retains the title of CavsConnect Sports Editor. Studying in the International Baccalaureate program, Andres is looking forward to this year for many reasons. He runs for the boys cross country team and is focused on breaking 19 minutes and 15 seconds for a five kilometer race. His Catholic faith, family and teammates are what drives him in his races or casual runs whenever he has time. On campus, Andres is also part of the International Baccalaureate Honor Society and the National Spanish Honor Society boards. As far as extracurricular events, Andres hopes to attend pep rallies and possibly Homecoming. The IB classes and assessments will be time consuming but Andres still intends to hangout with friends, volunteer at mass and take his dog, Max, on more walks. Some skills Andres wants to refine are driving and cooking. Finally, Andres continues to embody this Bible verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” -Philippians 4:13. 

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