Kinloch Park Middle School sprang up in 1953 as a junior high, emerging from little school houses built in 1926 for the elementary school. Built for 818 students and teachers, Kinloch Middle, at 4340 NW Third St. in Miami, is jammed today with 1,235. More than 95 percent of its students are Hispanics, and many are new arrivals learning English for the first time.
Kinloch is a poster school for the district’s 21st Century Schools Initiative, a $1.2-billion bond issue, which will help more than 260 old schools catch up to their newer suburban peers in technology and updated buildings. As these photos show, the air conditioning at Kinloch is a rusted shell, boxes of school records have been damaged because of water intrusion from an old roof — the damage so severe that new paint on the walls keeps peeling off because it won’t stick until the mildew is removed.
Today we wrap up our pictorial series of Miami-Dade’s crumbling schools. They need the community’s help.
For little more than $20 a year for the average home, low interest rates on bonds and competitive construction costs make this initiative a grand bargain for taxpayers. The School Board and Superintendent Alberto Carvalho are creating a community board that includes auditors and construction experts to ensure the money is spent wisely and the projects are completed on budget and on time. (More on that later this week.)
Another plus: 9,200 jobs will be required the first three years to get the projects going, with 18,000 jobs overall during the course of construction.
Vote YES on the $1.2 billion school bond issue. Our children are worth the investment.