City of Miami Honors Cuban Americans With Bay of Pigs Memorial Park Renovation and New Monument

City of Miami Honors Cuban Americans With Bay of Pigs Memorial Park Renovation and New Monument

$1.26M project

A community recognized

Trusted construction procurement method

Challenge: City Looks to Install Monument Quickly

Miami, Florida is a vibrant city with a rich cultural tapestry. A significant thread in that tapestry is the Cuban American population. There’s a long history of Cuban immigration to Miami, and today more than 1 million Cuban Americans live in the city, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. A significant event in the history of Miami’s Cuban population and America more broadly is the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

During 1960 and early 1961, America’s Central Intelligence Agency recruited, trained and equipped more than 1,500 Cuban exiles, who would become known as the 2506 Brigade, to lead a mission to free Cuba from the repressive communist dictatorship of Fidel Castro in an invasion at the Bay of Pigs. Despite the invasion’s ultimate failure, the 2506 Brigade’s unwavering dedication and valor deserve our utmost respect and admiration.

To honor those who participated in this event and their loved ones and to keep the dream for a free Cuba front and center, leaders at the City of Miami decided to design and install a monument and make other site improvements at the Bay of Pigs Memorial Park in Flagami, a part of Little Havana where many Cuban exiles have made their home away from home.

Before the project began, city leaders gathered input from survivors of the Bay of Pigs, their families and others affected by the invasion to ensure they properly and respectfully commemorated their efforts.

With all the hurdles crossed and all the boxes ticked, leaders at the City of Miami Office of Capital Improvements (OCI) sought to install the Bay of Pigs monument and make park improvements as quickly and efficiently as possible. To do so, they turned to an innovative construction procurement method they knew well.

Solution: Gordian’s Job Order Contracting (JOC) an Ideal Fit for Compressed Schedule

For the City of Miami OCI, a Gordian JOC program is familiar territory. City leaders used it to rehab and revitalize historic Flagler Street. They also used it to restore the Virginia Key outdoor recreation space – a project that took home a 2021 Award of Merit in Job Order Contracting – and for several other successful projects over the years.

The primary reason Gordian’s Job Order Contracting was such a natural fit for the Bay of Pigs Memorial Park project is speed. An indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) project delivery method, JOC enables owners to complete multiple projects with one, competitively-awarded contract. This innovative, single-solicitation approach to construction procurement results in significant time savings.

In a study conducted by NIGP and Gordian, around 70% of public procurement officials surveyed said project delivery with JOC takes nine weeks or fewer. Conversely, most of those officials reported that more traditional procurement methods like Design-Build, Design-Bid-Build and Construction Manager at Risk, take twelve weeks or more.

The speed and efficiency of a Gordian JOC program were key factors for decision-makers at the City of Miami. So was transparency.

This project used funds from the Miami Forever Bond as part of a $400 million investment intended to build a more resilient future for Miami and address the city’s most pressing needs. Gordian’s industry-leading JOC software helped city leaders ensure contract compliance, chart their progress, and track and report on their spending. These transparency measures not only reinforce proper use of Miami Forever funds, but they also preserve public trust.

The Bay of Pigs Memorial Park renovation was identified in March of 2021. Work began approximately three months later.

Result: City Celebrates Bay of Pigs Memorial Park Renovations

Honor a community’s past. Enrich a community’s present. Protect a community’s future.

It’s a rare feat to accomplish all three of those goals at all, let alone at once. But the City of Miami, FL has done just that with recent improvements at the Bay of Pigs Memorial Park. In all, the city spent about $1.35 million in total. The results have been worth every penny.

Current residents enjoy new outdoor fitness equipment, an improved playground and walking path, lighting and parking upgrades and more amenities that make the city a better place to live.

While today’s Miamians will certainly enjoy these improvements, the work is part of a broader plan to fortify the city against rising sea levels. Preparedness measures like these are crucial to staving off existential threats to the area and keeping the community safe for a long time to come.

The unquestioned crown jewel of the project is the new monument commemorating those who risked grave danger and sacrificed their lives in the name of a free Cuba. Sculptor Nilda Comas created the monument, which includes a soldier and a Cuban flag, with a scene from the invasion etched into the flag. The soldier is a depiction of the first Cuban killed accidentally in Guatemala during training for the invasion. He wears the number 2506, which became the number of the brigade that led the invasion and the name of the veterans’ association that exists today.

To mark the occasion, the city held a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Local officials, the City of Miami District 4 Commissioner and the City Mayor joined Cuban Americans with ties to the Bay of Pigs, including veterans of the invasion, as well as residents, to unveil the new monument and park improvements to the community. This project was so well-received and made such a positive impact on the community, it earned a 2022 Award of Merit in Job Order Contracting.

Click here to find out more about Gordian’s annual Job Order Contracting Awards program, including how to submit your project for this distinguished honor.