In addition to providing financing, Building Hope can play an invaluable role in project management. In 2010, Building Hope was responsible for the Hyde Leadership Public Charter School being able to operate from the Taft Center due to its project management capabilities. So successful has been the work of Hyde Leadership Public Charter school in the Taft Center and its other facilities that it was recognized by US News and World Report for being one of the best public high schools in the United States.
As project manager, Building Hope applied for and received a $998,550 Public Facility grant from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) in the District of Columbia. This grant was utilized for funding the project. As any experienced contractor knows, the preparatory work for any construction project is critical. For the Hyde Leadership Public Charter School, Building Hope, before the first nail was even driven, managed the architects, retained the general contractors, arranged and structured the financing, and also obtained funding from Qualified School Construction Bonds totaling $15.586 million. This allowed for the Taft Center to be secured as the new facility for the Hyde Leadership Public Charter School. "Ultimately, it was Building Hope who put Hyde in the Taft School" declared Joe Fanone, Chair of the Board, Hyde Leadership Academy.
For the next fifty years, the Hyde Leadership Public Charter School now has a lease with the District of Columbia Department of Real Estate Services (DRES) for the Taft Center, a 194,000 square foot facility that was the former Taft Junior High School. For the first fifteen years of the lease with DRES, the effective rent will be zero. Hyde Leadership Public Charter School is the master lessee, occupying approximately 173,000 square feet.
First opening in 1999, Hyde Leadership Charter School now serves about 1000 students in three facilities, grades k-12. Three times Hyde has been a winner of the Major Achievement in Charter Schools' Parent Satisfaction Award. Its philosophical cornerstones are based upon character development, academic rigor and family renewal. The first Hyde School, founded in the early 1960s, was opened as it was believed that public schools focused too much on student achievement and not enough on student character. As recognized by both the parents of the students and the editors of US News & World Report, this foundation is working well for the Hyde Leadership Public Charter School in the District of Columbia. With Building Hope as the project manager, it now has a home for the next five decades.
JUST THE FACTS!
Name of Public Charter School: The Perry Street Public Charter School formerly, HYDE LEADERSHIP PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL
Interesting Facts: Building Hope, in the role as project manager, applied for and received a $998,550 Public Facility Grant from OSSE which was used to fund the project. In addition, Building Hope provided all pre-development services including structuring and arranging financing, applying for and receiving the QSCB allocation, managing the architects and GC contracts and applying for and being awarded the Taft Center. Ultimately, Building Hope was responsible for placing Hyde as the tenant in the Taft Center.
Hyde signed a 50 year agreement with the District of Columbia Department of Real Estate Services (DRES) to lease Taft Junior High, a 194,000 square foot former DCPS facility that was awarded to Hyde. Hyde will be the master lessee with DRES and occupy approximately 173,000 square feet. Effective rent due to DRES will be zero for the first 15 years of occupancy. The remaining 21,000 square feet will remain vacant until additional financing can be secured next year.
Total project costs were $18.4MM. Hyde received a $15.586MM allocation of Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCBs) from the District of Columbia Revenue Bond Office which were ultimately purchased by Eagle Bank.
There is nothing so rewarding as a situation in which all parties win in matters of public policy. Such was the case with Building Hope and its financing of leasehold improvements at the Clark School for E.L. Haynes Public Charter School.
A top performing public charter school, E.L. Haynes was founded in 2004 (Building Hope provided the start-up school a loan guaranty) on "nationally recognized best practices" so that "...every E.L. Haynes student of every race, socioeconomic status, and home language will reach high levels of academic achievement and be prepared to succeed at the college of his or her choice." This mission is being accomplished: in 2009, 80% of E.L. Haynes scored proficient or advanced in math, while 66% scored proficient or advanced in reading. These results represent a three year gain of 50 percentage points in math and 26 percentage points in reading. With this record, E.L. Haynes was one of only two schools to receive the highest rating possible DC Public Charter School Board's review.
To help more students succeed, E.L. Haynes needed larger facilities. Less than a mile away from the E.L. Haynes facility on Georgia Avenue, N.W. was the Clark School, more than 50,000 square feet that could be put to use helping more students achieve their fullest potential. Even with its inspiring record, E.L. Haynes still had to find a way to acquire the Clark School. Building Hope provided the path.
Building Hope made available $1 million in a five year loan for E.L. Haynes. With thesefunds, E.L. Haynes was then able to leverage $10.35 million in total financing. This allowed for New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) capital to be secured. There were two phases to the renovations: the first, featuring NMTC financing and the second backed by Qualified School Construction Bond funds. Joe Bruno, President of Building Hope, stated that, "Without the intervention of Building Hope, E.L. Haynes could not have obtained the needed NMTC funds for the improvements to the Clark School." The entire transaction works very well for E.L. Haynes, said Tom Porter, Director for Real Estate Operations for Building Hope, "...as the rent for the school is completely offset by credits that E.L. Haynes will receive for renovating the facility."
Without Building Hope, the Clark School would still remain empty, a blight on a proud neighborhood. Without Building Hope, E.L. Haynes would have to be paying rent elsewhere. Without Building Hope, a community would not be revitalized by the presence of a remarkable educational institution. And without Building Hope, E.L. Haynes would have to turn away hundreds of deserving students every year due to a lack of space.
JUST THE FACTS!
Name of Public Charter School: E.L. Haynes Public Charter School
Interesting Facts: E.L. Haynes Public Charter School (E.L. Haynes) has a 50 year agreement with the District of Columbia Department of Real Estate Services (DRES) to lease the Clark School, a 51,690 square foot former District of Columbia Public School facility that was awarded to E.L Haynes last Spring. The Clark School is located .8 miles from E.L. Haynes' current facility on Georgia Avenue, in Ward 1. Rent will be completely offset by credits received for renovations made to the facility. E.L. Haynes will be renovating the existing Clark School in two financing phases: 1) NMTC financing and 2) Qualified School Construction Bond financing. Phase 1 will renovate the 1st and 2nd floor and part of the 3rd floor of the existing Clark classroom wings for Prek-2nd grade at a total project cost of $10.35 million. Phase 2 will renovate the remaining 3rd floor of the existing facility, build a gymnasium and common space, and build an additional classroom wing for the new high school program. Phase 2 project cost will be $13.35 million and be delivered over two years, ending July 2012.
Unlike many other lenders, Building Hope does not limit itself in the myriad of manners and methods that it can deploy in helping worthy public charter schools provide an education of the highest quality to deserving children. Building Hope recognizes that to best serve students, it must be as flexible as possible in meeting the needs of public charter schools while also remaining fiscally responsible to its investors, sponsors and mission in maintaining its near zero percent default rate for its lending activities. Such was the case with the Knowledge is Power Program and its expansion plans in Ward 8 of Washington, D.C.
The Knowledge is Power Program, better known a "KIPP," "... is a national network of free, open-enrollment, college preparatory public schools dedicated to preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life." There are 99 KIPP schools in 20 states and Washington, D.C., enrolling more than 26,000 students. More than 90 percent of the KIPP students are African American or Latino; and more 80 percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced meal programs.
KIPP DC AIM Academy, a middle school serving grades 5-8 with 320 students, was relocating and anchoring a Pre-K to 12 KIPP complex in Anacostia in the old Douglass Junior High School. In 2009, KIPP-DC needed an $8.5 million bridge loan to begin leasehold renovations as part of a $23 million rehabilitation project. Funds were needed to bridge the gap between the start of construction in February and permanent financing via New Market Tax Credits expected in May 2009. Without the bridge loan, the project would not be completed by the beginning of the school year and the plans would have to be put on hold.
The work financed by Building Hope required advance lead time and provided a new energy efficient HVAC system and lighting system. This system reduced the annual energy consumption of the building (building energy cost) by 32 percent over the baseline building system recommended by ASHRAE 90.1-2004. New 265/460 volt, 3 phase electrical service and switchboards were provided to feed the new electrical loads and the existing 208/120 volt, 3 phase switchboard. This wiring system allowed the existing 120/208 volt, 3 phase switchboard and other existing equipment to remain operational during construction. An updated plumbing network was designed for the entire facility. For this, more efficient fixtures and piping were installed, reducing water consumption by 40% more than mandated by the Energy Policy Act of 1992 for public facilities.
While KIPPP DC approached a variety of lending institutions for this needed work, "...Building Hope was the only one able to react in an expeditious manner that allowed for the renovations to be completed and the new school year to start on schedule," declared Tom Porter, Director of Real Estate Operations for Building Hope. The $8 million loan that Building Hope provided was replaced by $23 million in permanent financing three months later. From its commitment to assisting public charter schools that are deserving along with its flexibility and dedicated fiduciary responsibility, Building Hope was able to act to allow KIPP DC to open on its time, for its students to flourish in modern facilities propitious for learning, and for its investment portfolio to continue to enjoy a zero percent default rate while making needed loans.
JUST THE FACTS!
Name of the Public Charter School: KIPP DC - DOUGLASS CAMPUS
Interesting Facts: The loan of $8 million was needed by KIPP DC to bridge the gap between starting renovations in time to complete for the start of the new school year and the New Market Tax Credit transaction they expect to execute in May 2009.
KIPP DC has a 20 year lease from the Office of Property Management on the old Douglass Junior High Site. KIPP DC was looking to arrange short term financing of $8 million to begin leasehold improvements as part of a $23 million renovation. Building Hope had been approached to provide $4 million of the $8 million short term financing. KIPP DC had engaged the Charter School Growth Fund, M&T Bank, and United Bank about the remaining $4 million they would need to cover the $8 million renovation costs at Douglass between February and May 2009. However, Building Hope was the only lender able to act in flexible manner and procure the needed loan quick enough. The $8 million short term financing was replaced by a $23 million permanent financing 3 months later.
While primarily focused on public charter schools in Washington, D.C. and Florida, Building Hope endeavors to assist institutions across the country in its mission to offer an education of a high quality to all children. One such candidate was the Pacific Charter School Development Corporation in Los Angeles, California.
Pacific Charter School Development Corporation (PCSD) is a non-profit real estate development entity that seeks to locate, acquire, finance and construct facilities of the highest quality at the lowest cost for public charter schools. As of 2009, PCSD has created 33 schools on 23 campuses. Enrolled at these schools are 12,288 students. PCSD anticipates the completion of 2660 more seats in 2010 for five schools on two campuses. Also targeted for completion in 2010 are improvements for two other campuses that serve 1,000 pupils.
In 2008, PCSD approached Building Hope for a loan of $2.85 million. PCSD requested the funding to replace a portion of its $7.8 million in equity ownership of a charter school development located at 1639-1655 East 27th Street in Los Angeles. "Coming from San Francisco, I was aware of the good work that Pacific Charter Development Corporation was doing in California," remarked Tom Porter, Director of Real Estate Operations for Building Hope. With the $2.85 million, one-year construction loan from Building Hope,PCSD was able to build the school over the 2007-2008 period and then lease the property to Green Dot Public Schools.
Operating 15 public charter schools in the low income regions of Los Angeles, Green Dot was able to enroll to target as a result of this financial assistance from Building Hope, declared Tom Porter. Thanks to Building Hope, there are now 1080 students matriculating at Animo Justice Charter High school under the "Six Tenets of High Performing Schools" that Green Dot has instituted for all of its facilities. Since its founding in 1999, Green Dot Public Schools has sent thousands of its graduates on to higher education from areas where a dropout rate of over 50% was the norm. What was once the unusual is now the accepted as a result of Green Dot and its dedicated staff and faculty. With support from Building Hope, the mission and success of Green Dot continues to serve students and families in the communities with the highest need in Los Angeles.
JUST THE FACTS!
Name of the Organization: PACIFIC CHARTER SCHOOL DEVELOPMENT
Interesting Facts: Pacific Charter School Development (PCSD) requested a loan of $2.85m from Building Hope. The loan from Building Hope replaced a portion of the $7.8m in equity that PCSD had in a charter school development located in Los Angeles, California. PCSD built the school in 2007-2008 and has leased the property to Green Dot Public Schools. Green Dot has moved in and they are enrolled to target.
This project with Friendship Tech Prep Academy highlights an area in which Friendship Public Charter Schools has focused, and is too often overlooked: the role of a public charter school in revitalizing a low income neighborhood. Founded in 1997, Friendship Public Charter Schools operates a unique model that strives to educate the "whole child" through providing comprehensive social services to the family and embracing the entire community. The largest non-profit public school management organization in the area, Friendship Public Charter Schools is now serving almost 6,000 students from pre-school through 12th grade on nine campuses.
Building Hope seeks other returns besides financial returns. In this case, the investment provided environmental returns. The $2.5 million loan to Friendship Tech Prep Academy, that was leveraged to provide for $31 million in total financing, is paying dividends in many different ways. On May 27, 2010, the Alliance to Save Energy's program, Saving Energy in DC Schools, presented the "Best Data Collection" award to Friendship Tech Prep Academy. One of only four awards given, it went to the school with best energy-based data collection, organization, analysis and presentation process.
To win the award, the entire student body at Friendship Tech participated in a school-wide "Energy Audit Day." Every student helped collect, analyze and synthesize data about energy usage at the school. This provided the foundation of the science fair projects entered by Friendship Tech Prep Academy. At every possible step, the data and methods from this study were implemented in the curriculum and operations at the school, which was then taken home by the students to make the dwellings and businesses in their neighborhoods more energy efficient.
This is the spirit of community that a public charter school can bring to their students, their families and their surroundings. Building Hope recognizes the value of this asset is assessing those public charter schools to be considered for financial assistance. For this, Building Hope was presented with the Baptist Award from First City Bank, recognizing its commitment to improving the economic health of low and moderate income neighborhoods in the District of Columbia. The loan to Friendship Tech Prep Academy has paid off in every way possible for Building Hope and the community.
JUST THE FACTS!
Name of Public Charter School: Friendship Tech Prep Academy
Interesting Facts: The Building Hope bridge loan allowed for the school to move forward with the acquisition of the two parcels above and covered predevelopment costs until the proposed bond financing closed later in 2008.
The Southeast Academy site, along with the acquisition of the two adjacent lots, provides enough space for a 3-story, 80,000 square foot charter school facility, including a full size gym, to accommodate up to 800 students in grades 6-12
There is nothing more majestic than an elegant, historic building that graces its neighborhood. There is nothing more tragic than a once proud structure that has fallen into disrepair, deteriorating into a local eyesore. Building Hope prevented this from happening with its $2.9 million in funding for the Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School (LAMB).
In a two-phase renovation and new construction project, "Building Hope restored and transformed the historic Military Road School from a vacant, crumbling eyesore into a state-of-the-art educational facility," observed Joe Bruno, President of Building Hope. As a result of Building Hope's involvement, LAMB has been able to expand its student population by 55%; and with that, opportunities for early learners and elementary students. By contrast, when LAMB opened in 2003 it only had 57 children enrolled at its facility in Our Redeemer Lutheran Church. Phase I took place in 2006 and Phase II took place in 2007, adding 20,000 square feet to LAMB at a total project cost of $9.5 million.
LAMB plays a vital role in the District of Columbia school system as it is not only the sole dual language Montessori public charter school in the area surrounding the nation's capitol, it is one of the few nationwide. The Montessori philosophy is unique in that it groups children of all grades together in a communal classroom. This atmosphere emphasizes the child, allowing them to benefit from association with other students of all ages rather than being confined to those of the same grade. This instills greater concentration, self confidence and self-reliance in the children at this type of public charter school and others.
"And it is working", said Marianne M. Keller, Board Chair for Building Hope. Public charter schools, "...serv(ing) disproportionately lower income students, are competing with and outperforming the country's best public schools, demonstrating the potential of all students to learn and the effectiveness of the charter school movement." As a result of assistance from Building Hope, LAMB now serves 145 children in peerless facilities with an academic performance to match.
JUST THE FACTS!
Name of the Public Charter School: LATIN AMERICAN MONTESSORI BILINGUAL (LAMB)
Interesting Facts: A two-phase renovation and new construction project was designed to restore and transform the historic Military Road School from a vacant, deteriorating community eyesore into a state-of-the-art educational facility. The addition of a new wing allowed LAMB to expand its student population by 55%, and expanded learning opportunities for early learners and elementary students, including English language learners and those who have special education needs. Financing for this project was led by Building Hope.
Irasema Salcido, the daughter of immigrant farm workers from Mexico, named the public charter school she founded after Cesar Chavez, the civil rights activist and labor leader. Building Hope financed the ascension of the Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy from operating in the basement of a Safeway in 1998 to the four campuses it now occupies that have served some 3,000 students in beautiful, modern facilities ideal for learning. This is demonstrated by the 100% college acceptance rate for the graduates of the Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy.
It was the demand by parents for the top notch education provided by the Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools that led to the expansion financed by Building Hope. So superior was the performance of the students, that parents wanted more of what Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy had to offer: a rigorous academic program, dedicated faculty, a unique public policy curriculum, and comprehensive student support services. Building Hope was there to assist the school in meeting this demand.
Building Hope provided a direct loan of $5 million. Other funding came from Bank of America. "This is unique," pointed out Paul Leleck, Chief Financial Officer for Building Hope, "in that Building Hope owns the facility and leases it to Cesar Chavez." This allowed for the second campus, a combined middle school and high school, to be opened in 2004 in temporary facilities. In the fall of 2005, the students of all three Chavez schools moved into new facilities. With the help of Building Hope, in just two years the Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy went from enrolling only 250 students in grades 9-12 to serving almost 1000 students in grades 6-12, answering the dreams of thousands of parents in Washington, D.C.
JUST THE FACTS!
Name of the Public Charter School: Cesar Chavez Parkside
Interesting Facts: Building Hope owns the facility and leases it to the school. The facility was financed with a $10 million loan from Bank of America and $5 million self-financing by Building Hope.
The first Chavez high school was founded by Irasema Salcido in 1997. It spent its first year operating in the basement of a Safeway in SW DC. Irasema Salcido, the daughter of immigrant farm workers from Mexico, named the school after Cesar Chavez because his life demonstrated that any person-no matter their background-can make an impact that improves the lives of others. All Chavez students study public policy and participate in activities to improve their communities.
Due to facilities constraints, the first Chavez high school could only serve a maximum of 250 students. To provide more DC students with its high-quality academic program, Founder Salcido, with assistance from Building Hope, opened a second high school and the first Chavez middle school in the fall of 2004. These new schools were collocated in temporary facilities in NW DC. Thanks to Building Hope, in the fall of 2005, the students of all three Chavez schools moved into new school facilities: the founding high school moved into a newly-renovated building (a former warehouse) in Ward 6 where it now serves 415 students and the new middle and high schools moved into a brand new, state-of-the-art school building in Ward 7 where it now serves 525 students. Thus, in just two years, Chavez went from serving 250 students in grades 9-12 to serving almost 1,000 students in grades 6-12, on two campuses, both boasting beautiful, clean and up-to-date school buildings.
On Thursday, June 17, 2010, Katie Couric and the CBS Evening News aired a feature piece on the Thurgood Marshall Academy in Washington, D.C. Prominent in the story was the 100% college acceptance rate for its graduates. Also mentioned was the alumni program, where graduates of Thurgood Marshall Academy continue to receive all forms of assistance from the school while serving as mentors for the current students and others. Building Hope realized what Thurgood Marhsall Academy had to offer long before the CBS news story and did what was needed to ensure that both its graduates and the facilities of the school measured up to the ideals of the civil rights and legal legend for whom the school was rightfully named. The investment by Building Hope has been favorably returned in every way possible by the performance of the students and the alumni of the Thurgood Marshall Academy, the pride they demonstrate in their school by their leadership efforts, and the timely repayment of the construction loan.
Located in Ward 8 of the District of Columbia, the Thurgood Marshall Academy was founded to fulfill the belief that was the lifelong mission of Justice Thurgood Marshall in that every child had the right to an education of the highest quality and the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential. Opened in 2001, Thurgood Marshall Academy evolved from the D.C. Street Law Clinical program at Georgetown University Law Center. This clinic, easily the most popular at the law school, had faculty members and students teach in neighborhood high schools in Washington, D.C. The results were so powerful and the participation so meaningful that the creation of a public charter high school emphasizing law, public service, human rights and democracy seemed the natural order of events. The initial class of 80 ninth graders in the first year of the new millennium was testament to the impact of the D.C. Street Law Clinic and the influence of Justice Marshall. Through the assistance of Building Hope, Thurgood Marshall Academy now enrolls 390 students in grades 9-12.
This assistance from Building Hope was commemorated on October 12, 2005, when Thurgood Marshall Academy inaugurated its new home on Martin Luther King Avenue in historic Anacostia in our nation's capital. Building Hope provided a $1.2 million loan, which allowed for $12.5 million in needed renovations to be performed through leveraging the funds. The result of this aid from Building Hope was more than 50,000 square feet of state-of-the-art facilities that included a moot courtroom, more engaging classrooms, and other educational resources. Like every loan made by Building Hope, the five year, construction note at below market rates to Thurgood Marshall Academy has been repaid without default.
JUST THE FACTS!
Name of Public Charter School: Thurgood Marshall Academy