Why a Center for the Arts?

Brisel Cabrera '23 and Barbara Suarez '23

"The future”—two words that inspire wonder…worry…hope… in our hearts and minds. More than anything we want to assure that our children’s futures afford them every opportunity to flourish and live out their dreams. In the recent past, the future-success equation was pretty predictable. Technology and globalization have changed that equation and continue the change dynamic at mind-bending speed. How can we prepare our children for a future that is unknown?

It’s all about developing skills. Employers are looking for people who are adept at critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, creativity, initiative, and leadership. Our students’ values, character, sense of self, and habits of mind are the best and most important gifts we can give them. Participation in the Arts—music, drama, visual art, and/or dance—is no longer just “nice.” It is necessary.

A computer can do calculus and get the right answer. It takes creative problem solving skills to apply the calculations. Creativity, collaboration, and innovation are skills that are uniquely refined in artistic endeavors, and the Center for the Arts will give our students the transformational space to hone these skills.

Our Facility

The Center for the Arts The highest priority identified by the school’s current Strategic Plan is to raise money to build a Center for the Arts. The arts are not an extracurricular for our students. A Center for the Arts will provide the venue and environment that speaks to our Mission. Future plans may include a new gym, cafeteria, or science center, but currently, our number one priority is building a Center for the Arts, which will benefit all of our students from PK-3 – 12th grade. Current design documents provide for a 35,000 square foot Center for the Arts to include a 650-seat auditorium. A lobby, exhibit spaces, a dance studio, a ceramics patio, and much more are included and can be identified on the floor plans and list of naming opportunities included with this packet.

The Campus Parking Garage When we build the Center for the Arts, we are eliminating parking spaces in the North Lot, so we must replace them. Parking is currently a challenge, so this new garage will be helpful to allow more parent and student parking. The parking garage will have 300 parking spaces. In addition, Miami-Dade County requires a garage to address campus parking and traffic issues, and they would not grant the school a permit for building a Center for the Arts without a campus garage.

Construction, Financing, & Campaign

Center for the Arts Construction Costs
Parking Garage Construction Costs
Total Construction Costs


Endowment Funds
Total Funding


Tax Exempt Financing for Garage
Tax Exempt Financing for Center for the Arts


Campaign Gifts



The Timeline We broke ground on the Center for the Arts and Parking Garage on January 22, 2015. We are constructing these two buildings at the same time for the most effective cost, logistics, and timeline purposes. It is anticipated that the garage and the Center for the Arts will be open during the 2016–17 school year.

The Architects Zyscovich is an integrated master planning, architecture, and interior design firm with offices in Miami, West Palm Beach, Orlando, New York City, and Bogotá, Colombia. Since 1977, the firm has focused on making People Places—positively impacting the lives of people with their award-winning designs throughout the country and around the world. The Zyscovich Education Studio consists of over 40 highly-trained professionals who focus exclusively on the design of award-winning public, private, and charter schools. Notably, the group served as the studio for our school’s Katherine E. Franco Center for Learning Resources. As educators adopt a new paradigm of education for the 21st Century, Zyscovich Architects is committed to the creation of educational facility design that supports and enhances these efforts. Their designs are focused on the creation of a “culture of inquiry” and lifelong learners.