• Menu
  • Menu
Academy of Arts & Minds | Photo by sergioisevil

Academy of Arts & Minds

Location Class:
Built: | Abandoned: 2018
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: Sergio Alejandro

Webp.net resizeimage 8
The main lobby of the high school. Photo courtesy of sergioisevil

Bridgeprep Academy of Arts and Minds Charter High School (BAAM) was a performing and visual arts public charter school located in Coconut Grove.

The Academy of Arts and Minds was the first performing-arts charter school in the Miami-Dade County school district. Housed in a former shopping mall, it was founded in 2003 by Manuel Alonso-Poch, a real-estate lawyer. It was noted in a Miami Herald article in 2011 that Alonso-Pach was not only its founder, but also the school’s landlord, its spokesman, its food-service provider, its most generous donor, and also its financial manager.

Webp.net resizeimage 3
One of the few positive things students spoke highly of was the theatre class. Photo courtesy of sergioisevil

In 2010 and 2011 the State of Florida gave the school an “A” grade. Enrollment had increased to 450 students, but a lack of resources and a high staff turnover were noted. The school found itself in the middle of some controversy when it was discovered that the school was charging students to attend basic classes which is illegal. Several parents had also written letters to the school district to examine Alonso-Pach’s many ties which they believed was a conflict of interest. Furthermore, parents sought to replace the school’s governing board which included Alonso-Pach’s cousin and faceless, unnamed board member who lived in Peru.

The school’s grade had declined to a “C” by 2013. To remedy this, the school contracted with S.M.A.R.T. Management, an education management company, hired Antonietta DiGirolamo as principal, and upgraded educational technology. Things seemed to have improved since in 2014, US News & World Report ranked BAAM 32nd in Florida.

Webp.net resizeimage 7
Closed for less than 2 years, the school building has already experienced heavy vandalism. Photo courtesy of sergioisevil

The school declined again in quality with many students and parents complaining about the lack of textbooks, the lack of teachers, the amount of bullying, the terrible lunch, and the nonexistent clubs that the school advertised. In the 2016-2017 school year, students achieved proficiency in Reading/Language Arts of 40-44%, which was lower of the state’s average of 54%. Students also achieved a proficiency in Math of 28%, far lower than the state average of 57%.

The school was finally shut down in 2018 after many years of full of controversy. Now empty, the building has been vandalized over the past year. There are no current plans for the building.

Gallery Below of Academy of Arts & Minds


David Bulit is a photographer, author, and historian from Miami, Florida. He has published a number of books on abandoned and forgotten locales throughout the United States and continues to advocate for preserving these historic landmarks. His work has been featured throughout the world in news outlets such as the Miami New Times, the Florida Times-Union, the Orlando Sentinel, NPR, Yahoo News, MSN, the Daily Mail, UK Sun, and many others. You can find more of his work at davidbulit.com as well as amazon.com/author/davidbulit.

View Locations

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Copyright © 2009- - Abandoned Atlas Foundation - board@AbandonedAtlas.com | Designed By Prairie Nation Creative, LLC - Disclaimer