City of Aventura to get its own high school

A new high school is finally in the works for Aventura.

The city commission recently announced an agreement to buy two acres of land next to Waterways Park to build a charter school for 800 students.

Pending approval from the Miami-Dade school board, construction on the school will begin in the fall. Aventura hopes to welcome the first group of ninth and tenth graders in August 2019. The upper grades will be added as the initial cohort progresses. Unlike Aventura’s ACES K-8 charter school, which is run by the city commission, Aventura plans to hire Charter Schools USA to manage the high school.

Parents, local politicians and business groups have pushed for a new school for years, but city manager Eric Soroka said the difficulty was finding land for sale within the city’s budget.

“The opportunity came this year in order to purchase the property from Gulfstream,” Soroka said, referring to the Gulfstream Park Racing Association, which owns the land next to Waterways. “In the past the cost of the land prohibited the city from investigating the feasibility of a high school.”

Aventura currently feeds into Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School. Residents and local politicians have argued that the school, which is outside the city limits, is too far away for some families. The new charter high school would give priority to residents.

“I think a community is not really a community until it has a high school,” said Les Winston, the president of the Aventura-Sunny Isles Beach Chamber of Commerce, one of the groups that has pushed for a new school. “From a community development perspective we felt it was important for property values, it’s better for the community as a whole, it makes the community more of a real city.”