Community Meeting, This Friday (Oct. 11), On Coral Gables Senior High Renovations

On Friday, October 11th at 4:00PM, the City of Coral Gables Commission and Miami-Dade County Public Schools will hold a community meeting at Coral Gables Senior High School (450 Bird Road) to discuss the ongoing renovations of Coral Gables Senior High School. (SEE NOTICE).

Coral Gables Senior High School is the second oldest High School in Miami-Dade County and has been in need of major renovations for several years. (WATCH: Gables Inisder Story On Recent Groundbreaking). Miami-Dade County Public Schools originally allocated $11.2 million for the school’s renovation, well short of the funds necessary to bring the school to where it needs to be. Over the last couple of years, School Board Member Mari Tere Rojas and Coral Gables officials have worked to increase that amount to $26 million dollars. This will allow for demolishing of older buildings and the construction of a new building on the Riviera side of the campus, renovations to the original structure’s classrooms and replacement of the original chiller plant.

The campus, which features buildings that were built prior to the school’s opening in 1950, have endured some changes throughout the years, including air conditioning additions in the 1970s, which brought with it the removal of classroom windows. These windows will be brought back to bring natural light back to the classrooms. The new campus will also feature a large central courtyard area similar to those at colleges and universities.


On September 30th, Coral Gables Senior High School principal, Adolfo Costa, and Miami-Dade County Public Schools Administrative Director for Design and Sustainability, Victor Alonso, led a briefing and tour of the General Obligation Bond renovations of Coral Gables Senior High School.

In attendance were School Board Member Maritere Rojas, Coral Gables Commissioner Jorge L. Fors, Jr., Darrell Payne and June Thomson Morris of Friends of Gables High, Sam Joseph and Ariel Fernandez from the the City of Coral Gables’ School and Community Relations Committee, Coral Gables Senior High School PTSA President Jackie Gross-Kellogg, City Clerk Billy Urquia and representatives from the offices of the City Mayor, City Commission, City Manager and City Attorney.

The briefing and tour was arranged in order to provide all stakeholders with an update on the progress of the renovations.

“Our children’s learning environment plays a big role in the learning experience, and our City’s public education options are a key element of quality of life.  That is why I have taken great interest in the mission to improve this fantastic academic institution in desperate need of renovation and visited twice in three months to discuss these plans and track progress.  We are all very thankful to the School Board and our representative, Mari Tere Rojas, who was instrumental in securing funding for this critical project– and I am very excited to see that the first phase of construction is already underway.  Of course, the $26 Million budget does not include the full scope of necessary renovations, but it does make clear that the School Board is very committed to the cause.  The City of Coral Gables is too.  I am not the only member of the Commission who has taken great interest in this issue.  I believe all of my colleagues have shown that they regard our public education options as an asset and will continue to work towards the goal of making Coral Gables High a world-class school in all respects, not just academic.  The future looks bright and there are a lot of great people working on this,” commented Coral Gables Commissioner Jorge L. Fors, Jr.


A group that has been integral to the renovation process has been Friends of Gables High.

Founded by Cavalier alumni and parents, Friends of Gables High has been working to provide support to the school on numerous fronts, including community outreach, assisting students through school clubs, and the school’s renovation.

The organization has been holding fundraisers and is actively accepting donations on its website, having raised over $50,000 for assistance with these projects.

“I’m really excited to see the construction starting at Gables High – the plans for the renovation are focused on creating a true college-like campus that will dramatically improve the opportunities for learning at the school,” said Darrell Payne of Friends of Gables High. “This is truly a once-in-a-generation opportunity. It’s critically important for every member of Cavalier Nation, and any resident of Coral Gables that cares about education, to learn about the ongoing $26 million dollar renovation, and to help support efforts to ensure the renovation is complete and comprehensive. Coral Gables deserves a 21-century high school campus that reflects the exceptional academics and achievement at Gables High, and becomes another part of the tradition of beautiful buildings in the City of Coral Gables,” he added.


4 thoughts on “Community Meeting, This Friday (Oct. 11), On Coral Gables Senior High Renovations

  1. Latest news is that the School Board just rejected all bids for what is supposed to be the actual renovation of the entire campus inside and out (Project #2200946) according to the online construction journal. Why they rejected all bids, I do not know.

  2. Ms. Reynolds,

    Because there IS no master plan. We’ve been talking about this since 2018. It’s now 2022 and the school is exactly the same but with a new wing. They showed something shiny and everyone is fine.

  3. How has construction already started when we haven’t even seen a Master Plan of the proposed new “college-like” campus and courtyard? And why is there a money problem? Wasn’t money set aside for Gables from the GOB fund? I’ll believe all of this when I see it because right now it sounds like a bunch of talk. I recently took a tour of Palmetto High. Sure is gorgeous. You should see their auditorium.

  4. As an out of town alum but someone who is very familiar with the school and the project, I just try say this wherever I can to voice my opinion. Coral Gables is a SEVENTY(70) year old school with a very large, sprawling campus. All of the buildings were built before air conditioning was a thing in public schools. Therefore you have 70 year buildings retrofitted for HVAC which includes boarded up windows which create dark classrooms, ugly hallways, etc etc. Replacing a building or two on Rivieria isn’t going to cut it. Coral Gables desperately needs and DESERVES a brand new, modern campus for our students and community. Look around at other communities, states and towns. See what other school districts have dared to dream. You will be shocked. For example, the fact that we have no plans to replace the auditorium (a hurriedly built, poorly designed building from its inception) or music building, yet continually waste vital funds by slapping the school with new carpet and paint is a key failure of waste that this group is being blind to. Dade County has yet to engage a third party building surveyor to come in and give us a full mark up of the campus; a public report of every square inch of the school. (Usually called a Castaldi report) In such a situation as ours, this is usually a routine, vital step that answers the most important question we should be asking so that we waste no money: do we REPLACE, REMODEL OR RAZE. Exactly what structural state are these buildings in? What’s going on behind the walls? These are very very important issues that MUST be addressed. I believe such a report is not being made available because any person with even a little construction experience will tell you that such a report would most assuredly tells us the buildings need to be REPLACED; that to simply replace only two buildings but continue to remodel the rest is the absolute best way to waste a whole lot of money in the long run. Time for a REAL rebuilding of Coral Gables High School.

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