M-DCPS Holds Topping-Out Ceremony for New K-8 Center Conversion in North Miami

Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho, School Board member Dr. Steve Gallon III, North Region Superintendent Dr. Verena Cabrera, District administrators, Principal Rhonda L. Gaines-Miller of Thomas Jefferson Middle, Principal Marie R. Dugas of Biscayne Gardens Elementary, and students from both schools gathered this morning for a topping-out ceremony for the Biscayne Gardens Elementary/Thomas Jefferson Middle K-8 Center Conversion in northern Miami.

nwekiBillboard shows artist sketch of new K-8 Center conversion being constructed in background.Silva Architects LLC and contractor Thornton Construction Company are completing work on Phase I of the $11 million project. The scope of work includes a new 34,500 square foot, two-story building housing 554 student stations, with 10 primary and 17 intermediate classrooms, an entry plaza, P.E. shelter, covered walkways, parent drop off and hardcourts.

An alumnus of both schools was thrilled with all the positive changes taking place. “I really like the presentation here today and the points they made about a ‘promise’ that they are delivering on,” said Daniel Gualtieri, who attended the elementary and then-junior high in the 1960s. “New students are going to have a facility where they can pursue excellence and discover their own personal gifts and talents to fulfill their destiny in life.”

A topping-out ceremony is an age-old tradition that highlights the progress of a construction job, marks a milestone or announces that a project is nearing its completion.

The school bond projects resulted from voter approval of the $1.2 billion General Obligation Bond. The bond is being used to modernize and construct school buildings throughout the District, expand student capacity, enhance facility safety, and provide technology upgrades at all schools. 

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