This series of articles examines the condition of public schools and public school construction in Florida's Miami and Dade Counties. To prepare the series, the Miami Herald studied thousands of pages of construction records, correspondence, school district reports, and accounting statements over 15 years. It analyzed state and national construction costs, school enrollment reports for Florida's 67 school districts, growth rates, and census data. More than 200 people completed interviews, and reporters and photographers made about 25 visits to schools. The Herald obtained school district databases detailing construction costs and schedules, contractor and architect information, contractor defaults, construction charges, and life-safety violations. The construction analysis of new schools, additions, renovations, and repairs was based on over 1,200 projects, totalling $1.6 billion, completed since 1988. The articles include: Crumbling Schools: Tens of Millions Wasted in Slow, Sloppy Construction, and Miami-Dade Children are the Losers (Debbie Cenziper and Jason Grotto); Aging Schools Wait Endlessly for Renovation (Debbie Cenziper); Records of Costs, Budgets are Hard to Come By (Debbie Cenziper and Jason Grotto); and Stierheim Vows Fundamental Change (Debbie Cenziper).
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