Miami-Dade County School Board members on Monday voted to create a task force that will explore how the district should move forward with plans to redevelop 10 acres of public land in downtown Miami.
The task force will come up with recommendations on a range of issues, including whether to lease or sell the school district’s property, the best procurement process to use and the best way to make money from any deal that may be struck.
The school board hopes to ride a wave of development around its properties, which are near the Adrienne Arsht Center. In May, board members decided to explore possible redevelopment plans for a string of parcels along Northeast Second Avenue and Biscayne Boulevard. Already on the land: multiple school district buildings, two schools, surface parking lots and WLRN public TV and radio stations.
“It is a big idea,” said Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. “Now is the time.”
The goal is to strike a deal that will make the district money in the long-term, and still allow the school system to maintain a presence in downtown at no cost.
Carvalho said he would get input from the Superintendent’s Business Advisory Council, as well as staff and board members, to pick five experts to serve on the task force. He stressed that only members without business ties to the district will be appointed.
No time line was offered for when the task force would have its recommendations for the school board to review before deciding how to move forward.
Also Monday, board members approved a reorganization of district personnel that Carvalho said would save more then $6 million while also placing greater emphasis on “fragile” schools, the arts and safety. The plan also creates some new positions to focus on transportation planning, vendor development and employee recruitment — as well as a new auditor to oversee the district’s $1.2 billion general obligation bond implementation.
“What were doing is realigning our jobs with a purpose,” said board member Larry Feldman.