International Studies Preparatory Academy
The International Studies Preparatory Academy (ISPA or Iprep) building program is the result of memoranda of understanding with the governments of France, Italy and Spain. It is the only program of its kind in the United States. Students pursue world language studies in addition to their standard academic curriculum. Their coursework has an international focus and adheres to the rigorous standards of both the U.S. and the European Union educational systems. This program offers students the opportunity to receive dual recognition for their studies; a U.S. high school diploma and an equivalent diploma from the European country of their focus. The goal is to increase student achievement, establish global awareness and generate greater emphasis on international career preparation. This new 574 student Miami-Dade County Public School is a creative urban environment for both students and school administrators. In order to increase student stations and diversify student program opportunities in the already fully developed cities of Coral Gables and South Miami, the School Board purchased an existing five-story office building and converted it into a high school. R.J. Heisenbottle Architects was commissioned to design and fully renovate the dated 1970’s building into a completely new and inventive environment reflective of the school’s international studies program. The school boasts a creative learning environment utilizing cutting edge educational technology and building systems. At a cost of $9.3M the 48,962 gross square foot project was fast-tracked, completed in 13 months from the date of A/E commissioning, for student occupancy in the fall of 2011.

Photos: © Dan Forer