Cutler Bay

Cutler Bay moves ahead with converting Caribbean Boulevard office space to charter school

A lingering resolution for a charter school permit finally found public hearing status Wednesday night at Cutler Bay Town Hall.

The main item

At the summit of a lengthy Cutler Bay Town Council meeting was a resolution that had been deferred several times. But on Wednesday, the conditional-use application permit to convert office space at 10750 Caribbean Blvd. from business use to a charter school was approved by a 3-2 vote.

Councilmembers Mary Ann Mixon and Roger Coriat dissented on the item, which converts the 58,428 square feet of space into Virtus Academy 6-12 Public Charter School.

Alliance Development entered into a contract with Pinnacle Investment Properties to buy and renovate the 2.16-acre property. The applicant must obtain administrative site plan approval to implement the proposal. The building is set to include 33 classrooms, a music lab, computer lab, art lab and a cafeteria. The current northside parking area will be converted into a volleyball court, a mini soccer field, and a vita course with exercise equipment. When completed, the school will total 888 students and 46 staff members.

“The charter school stuff took up most of the night,” Town Manager Ralph Casals said. “The Town Council heard the town staff report and comments from the applicant. They deliberated and asked several questions from the town staff, the applicant and the surrounding property owners. And the resolution was adopted with the conditions that were set by the town staff.”

Other business

▪ Safety granted: Your route to school will soon be safer. The Town Council approved a local agency program agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation for the safe routes to school project at Cutler Bay Academy of Advanced Studies. The town accepted a grant of more than $407,000 to improve the sidewalks leading up to the school.

▪ Joint participation: The council unanimously supported approval of the second amendment to its joint participation agreement with Miami-Dade County, relating to the Caribbean Boulevard roadway improvement project.

▪ New principal: Former Gulfstream Elementary principal Concepcion C. Santana was on hand as Cutler Bay High School’s new principal, Lucas J. De La Torre was introduced before the Town Council.

They said it

“I voted yes, with conditions, to give Cutler Bay students a local option for a school that offers a different curriculum than that offered in our existing schools.” — Cutler Bay Mayor Peggy Bell.

The next meeting

When: 7 p.m. Sept. 16

Where: Town Hall, 10720 Caribbean Blvd.