Over the past five years, an average of six new charter schools have opened annually in Washington, D.C. These start-up schools typically open with small numbers of students (one or two grade levels) and then grow by one class each year. Given this incremental growth and the high cost of real estate in the District of Columbia, it is difficult for a school to purchase or lease affordable space in its initial years.
In 2006, Building Hope forged a partnership with the District of Columbia's Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) to develop transitional or incubator-facilities to house charter schools during their first five years of operation. Building Hope currently manages six such facilities and continues to develop new sites that are made available to schools at below-market price on a revolving basis.
These sites provide schools with affordable space while they establish themselves, grow their enrollment, and identify a permanent location. An incubator facility may also be shared by two schools. By sharing a facility, schools also benefit from economies of scale in utilities, maintenance, and other support services that Building Hope provides or manages.
These incubator facilities consist of :
» There commercial sites developed in 2006 and 2007 totaling approximately 30,000 square feet serving approximately 300 students. Total renovation costs approximated $1.8 million.
» Three former District of Columbia Public School buildings totaling approximately 210,000 square feet serving approximately 1,700 students. Total renovation costs approximated $18.2 million.
Building Hope has partnered with the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) to provide facilities that can be leased to start-up charter schools on a revolving basis. Incubator space will give new charter schools a home during their initial one to three years of operation when the small number of students served makes it difficult to afford commercial space. This will allow schools to focus on their academic programs.
Building Hope Incubator Sites
Location: Ward 1
Size: 12,500 square feet
Location: Ward 5
Size: 8,200 square feet
The facility includes six classrooms, office space, a nurse's office, access to a warming kitchen, and a play area on the grounds of the school. It is ADA compliant.
Location: Ward 1
Size: 7,746 square feet
The facility includes six classrooms, multi-purpose space, office space, nurse's office, teachers' room, and a warming kitchen. It is ADA compliant.