Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) that was made to expand MAST to 1,500 students, most hailing from Key Biscayne, saw great opposition from the community.
Now, a new generation of students and staff at MAST Academy has seen the vast changes that the addition to our campus has made, and waits hopefully for the construction to finish.
“The building is on target, the timetable sets completion for July, and the building will be ready for the beginning of the next school year,” Assistant Principal Michael Gould said.
The new building is easily the largest structure on Rickenbacker Causeway, yet the modern building is designed to integrate into the landscape.
It will feature two floors of parking, with a large drop off zone for MAST students. The building will include a music and choir room, as well as new classrooms to be used by all grades and both the Maritime and Cambridge programs.
“The building will be for everyone, all grades, middle school and high school, Cambridge and Maritime,” Gould said.
The old MAST building will be heavily remodeled as well. In May, the engineering equipment will be removed and over the summer replaced with new equipment.
The larger science labs (those whose windows face the bay) will be fully renovated and two new science labs will be created in the space currently occupied by English teacher Karen Sutton’s classroom.
Both the second floor and the auditorium will be outfitted with new carpeting. Additionally, both the art and culinary rooms will be renovated.
On the last day of school, the portables will be removed and concession stands and restrooms for the soccer field will take their place.
Most of the classes currently in the portables will be relocated to the new building, along with the newspaper and Cayce Benton’s classes.
It is confirmed that next year there will be a seventh grade added, although the exact number of seventh grade students is still unknown. This expansion is the second phase of the middle school plan, which hopes to add grades 6-8 to MAST, and is a test to see how younger middle-school students adapt to MAST.
Other large-scale construction projects on the causeway include the new addition to the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric science campus, which includes a new helicopter observation platform.