Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho and School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III were joined this morning by Principal Dr. Sacha T. Challenger, District and school staff and Performing Arts Magnet students at Norland Middle School to officially cut the ribbon on the first phase of a GOB construction project. Architects Wolfberg Alvarez & Partners and E.L.C.I. Construction Group delivered the $4.1 million investment.
“It’s going to be a wonderful thing in this community for the kids. They are going to enjoy being here and exploring their talents,” said Latoya Law, whose eighth-grade son attends Norland.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of the Little or Black Box Theatre. Norland Middle is a Visual and Performing Arts Magnet school. Before the new theatre, the drama class was held in a science lab. Seventh graders Wynter Reid, Delon Coleman and Zackary Martin had just performed in the 1,900-square foot, black box space lit with 32 purple lights.
They not only performed in sync; they also spoke in it. “We really love and appreciate the Black Box Theatre!” said Wynter. “We are thankful for everyone who helped us get this Black Box Theatre,” said Delon. “And, we’re very thankful for everything Ms. Cidel has done for the drama program!” added Zackary.
Theater Director Tanisha Cidel is not only known as the “drama mama,” she has helped put Norland Middle School in the spotlight in many ways. Three years ago, Cidel helped some of students be cast in the locally made film. That movie was “Moonlight,” which went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
“I am elated about the new theatre!” Ms. Cidel said enthusiastically. “Norland Middle’s students made magic in a science lab for years and I can’t wait to see what happens now that we have access to facilities that are more conducive to their learning experience. It is imperative that we allow all children access to facilities, equipment and curriculum that will encourage and foster learning at a high level.”
Other renovations include a new cafeteria spill-out dining shelter with shade structure, a new P.E. shelter, a new entry plaza and covered walkway, and a reconfigured parking lot.
The faculty is also inspired by the new addition. Dr. Damon C. Richardson, the Magnet Lead teacher and Band Director said, “I’m really very excited about the addition of the Black Box Theatre to our facility. It’s going to give our children a chance to have a professional educational opportunity and do some great work, and I’m really excited about it.”
The school bond projects resulted from voter approval of the $1.2 billion General Obligation Bond. The bond is being used to modernize and construct school buildings throughout the District, expand student capacity, enhance facility safety and provide technology upgrades at all schools.
To learn more about the General Obligation Bonds progress, visit http://gobprogress.com and @MDCPScapital on Instagram and #GOBprogress on Twitter. For the most up-to-date information, please download the Dadeschools mobile app to your iPhone or Android device. Follow us on Twitter @mdcps and @miamisup, on Instagram @miamischools and @miamisup, and on Facebook at MiamiSchools and AlbertoCarvalho