A hurricane boosts a local population and stresses the school system.

After Pembroke Pines recovered from Hurricane Andrew, it had a new problem. Residents fled the decimated area to the south for the already-full Broward County. With the local school board unable to accommodate growth, city leadership — in collaboration with Haskell — set about designing and building a system of city owned charter schools. The plan was for a true academic village and incorporated a public library and college satellite campus.

We created an environment of learning and recreation.

The solution was a picturesque 75-acre, 254,000-square-foot academic campus with 1,462 student stations. The project also included a 54,000-square-foot Broward Community College satellite campus and 90,000-square-foot Broward County Regional Library. Other improvements included an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a 2.5 million gallon water storage tank, a 15-acre environmental park and 1,000 surface parking spaces.

The program has proved very successful for the city and students.

The village today is a master planned campus that spans pre-school through university education with 5,600 student stations. Operated by the City, the program consistently has a thousands-deep waiting list. There are so many applicants, in fact, the city conducts a lottery to award the coveted slots.

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