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Wednesday, April 3, 2024

M-DCPS Breaks Ground for a New Law Academy, Planetarium at Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High

Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jose L. Dotres and District 4 School Board member Robert J. Alonso were joined by Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High Principal Juan Ramirez; elected officials representing the Town of Miami Lakes from the state, county, and local; District representatives; faculty and students to break ground on Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High’s new Law Academy and the renovation of the Ken Mattingly Planetarium.


The Law Academy, which will be used for the school’s law magnet classes, will include a judge’s bench, a witness stand, a jury box, as well as plaintiff and defendant tables, deliberation rooms, and public seating.


Eleventh grader Maurits Acosta, who gave the student reflection during the opening ceremony, was excited by all the new career development and academic pathways that will be available for students.


“This is a historic investment that our district is making in the future of our school. Not only are we going to completely redevelop our planetarium – we’re one of a handful of high schools in the whole state of Florida that has its own planetarium – but we’re also going to get a brand new courtroom. Our school has one of the top law programs in the entire state, but we’ve never had a courtroom of our own. Today, thanks to the commitment our superintendent and school board are making, that will all change.”


Named after astronaut Ken Mattingly, who grew up in Hialeah, the planetarium originally was opened in 1972 and closed in 2000. The renovation will include a new metal sphere dome, state-of-the-art digital projection and sound systems, as well as seating. The venue will be used by the upcoming Space and Technology Research Magnet students when the program begins in the fall of 2025.


Science and Astronomy teacher Rick Silverman says the new planetarium is pretty significant. “It’s been a project that our administration has been seeking for nearly 8 years and to know that it’s going to happen in a couple of years is a testament to their belief in the development of this program and the phenomenal opportunities it will present to our future students.”


Maurits, who is a member of the District Student Government Association, completely agreed. “This is going to bring out parents and students and really show what our school has to offer. Our public education system, especially here in Miami-Dade is the top in the entire country. The opportunities that are given to us are second to none. We really are the best choice for everyone. No matter what you’re interested in our school district has a program that suits you and you just need to find the right one.”


Carivon Construction was awarded the contract on the $2.3 million project, which is expected to be completed by 2025.


For the most up-to-date information, please download the Dadeschools Mobile App to your iPhone or Android device. Follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, @MDCPS and @SuptDotres, on Instagram @miamischools and @suptdotres, and on Facebook at MiamiSchools.

Schools Superintendent Dr. Jose L. Dotres, center, and dignitaries officially kick off the construction of a new Law Academy and a planetarium renovation project at Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High.

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