Aventura - Sunny Isles

Aventura supports iPrep High being built on Highland Oaks vacant land

After much debate from residents, Aventura city commissioners on April 5 adopted a resolution that supports the development of an iPrep High School on the vacant grounds of Highland Oaks Middle School, located at 2375 NE 203rd St. in Northeast Miami-Dade.

The iPrep High School comes as a promise fulfilled from Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, who committed during a town hall meeting in December 2015 to establishing a high school to serve Northeast Miami-Dade residents.

“Promise made was a promise kept,” Carvalho said at a commission meeting in December.

Several members of the Sky Lake-Highland Lakes Area Homeowners Association, however, openly disagreed with the location of the iPrep High School at Highland Oaks Middle.

“Our residents are overwhelmingly against the location that is proposed,” said Marc Huritz, homeowners association president. “As your neighbors, I hope that you will consider that the burden such as traffic is being placed on us since the proposed annex is being placed in our community.”

All Aventura commissioners voted in favor of approving the resolution except Commissioner Teri Holzberg.

“Let’s understand everyone that this is a Miami-Dade high school, not an Aventura high school,” Holzberg said. “We are lucky if 100 children maybe will get in there; this is spread all over the county and not only Aventura.”

Commissioner Howard Weinberg said he wanted residents to understand that the resolution is only supporting what the School Board has told them and that they are not “married” to the Highland Oaks Middle location.

“I want you all to understand that given what the School Board has told us, we are saying build it already. We need the school. Stop talking about it and build it.”

OTHER BUSINESS

▪ Special election: On April 12, Aventura held a special mail-in election for residents to decide two proposed charter amendments. The first proposal would have allowed term-limited elected officials who served eight consecutive years to run again after two years instead of the current four. Residents rejected the measure with 1,834 votes for and 1,020 against, according to unofficial election results.

The second proposal, mandating that any elected official who misses four meetings in a calendar year or four consecutive meetings would forfeit their office, passed 2,234 votes to 563.

▪ Budget amendment: It was recommended that amendments be made to the 2015-16 fiscal year budgets of the general fund, an increase of $591,041; police education fund, an increase of $732; transportation and street maintenance fund, an increase of $587,268; the 911 fund, an increase of $44,042; and the capital projects fund, an increase of $572,182. Funds were re-appropriated from debt-service funds as follows: debt-service fund, $233; and debt-service fund series 2012, charter school land, $7,449.

All commissioners voted in favor of the ordinance, and it was approved.

THE NEXT MEETING

▪ When: 6 p.m. May 3.

▪ Where: Commission Chamber, 19200 W. Country Club Dr., in Aventura.

This article has been updated with new information about the city’s mail-in election.

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