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- 2010 Charter School Facility Finance Landscape
Articles for earlier years »
Building Hope Makes an Impact in the District of Columbia
Washington, DC, December 8, 2011
Building Hope, through its financing and technical support, now serves public charter schools in the District of Columbia that are educating more than 18,000 students, well over half of the 33,000 children who are receiving their K-12 education in DC Public Charter Schools. The announcement was made by S. Joseph Bruno, president, Building Hope.
A non-profit organization founded in Washington, DC in 2003, Building Hope has made a major impact on the District’s charter school landscape. The more than 18,000 DC public charter school students now attending facilities made possible through the financing and technical support of Building Hope reflect its investment of more than $50 million in loans and guarantees, supporting more than $400 million in total project costs for DC public charter school facilities.
In addition to providing ongoing financing and technical support services to public charter schools across Washington, DC, the organization is currently involved in managing new construction incubator projects through the Charter School Incubator Initiative (CSII), as part of its public-private partnership with the District of Columbia’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education. These projects are at three former DC public school buildings – Birney, Benning and Draper – and at three commercial facilities – on S Street, NW; at the “Michigan Park campus” on Taylor Street, NE; and on 14th Street, NW.
“Our mission at Building Hope is to support the growth of high-quality public charter schools,” said Mr. Bruno. “Our home base and original focus are in the District of Columbia, where the charter school market is maturing. We are pleased to be able to continue to support the growth of a model charter school community here in DC, in particular this academic year through CSII incubator projects.”
Four public charter schools in Washington, DC opened their doors for the current school year with successful construction incubator projects completed at former DC public school sites, each made possible through the financing and technical support of Building Hope. Those two sites, each with two schools, are:
In addition, the former Draper School in Ward 8, which now houses National Collegiate Prep and Achievement Prep Academy, is receiving Building Hope’s ongoing support in its efforts to put in place a master redevelopment plan.
Meanwhile, two other charter schools receiving Building Hope support through CSII began the new school year at commercial sites. They are:
DC Bilingual Public Charter School (DCBPCS), founded in 2004, also benefits from Building Hope support at its 14th Street, NW facility near Columbia Road, where it serves more than 350 students from PreK-5th grade. Drawing from the 25-year history of its founding organization, CentroNia, DCBPCS’s philosophy is rooted in respect for cultural and linguistic diversity.
“Since inception in 2003, Building Hope has provided financial support and/or technical assistance to nearly 40 public charter schools in Washington, DC, contributing to a 40% market share for charter schools overall,” said Thomas Porter, director of real estate operations for Building Hope. “We are proud to continue to serve students in Washington, DC, and we are especially pleased that the current academic year is off to a great start for the students who are benefiting from our work at these incubator facilities.”
Building Hope Receives $750,000 grant from US Department of Treasury
Building Hope, which provides loan assistance and other aid to public charter schools in the District of Columbia and other cities, announced today the award of a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Treasury. Part of the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) program, the grant will expand the lending capacity and activities of Building Hope in its mission, which has allowed for more than one-third of the public school students in Washington, D.C., alone, to attend charter schools of a high quality with proven results. S. Joseph Bruno, President of Building Hope, noted that, "The support of the US government continues to validate the mission of Building Hope - to build affordable facilities for quality public charter schools to give hope to low-income students."
Florida Charter School Conference
November 17, 2009
Technology is an integral part of modern education. "Find out how to create a plan to guide your school's technology, how to comply with CIPA (Children's Internet Protection Act) and how to participate in the E-Rate program which can provide funding for your technology needs".
Building Hope and Partner, Dynamic Network Solutions presented this important topic at the Florida Charter School Conference in November. See how the audience rated the presentation:
Chavez-Bruce's New Facility
December 7, 2009; The Washington Times
Building Hope was able to use its experience in renovating buildings for public charter schools to help the builders and contractors complete the project on time. In particular, Pepco ensured the school's power was running smoothly by open day. Timely delivery occurred despite the late discovery of extensive mold in the walls that had to be removed. Cooperation and teamwork won the day, said S. Joseph Bruno, president of Building Hope.
Secretary of Education at DC Prep
October 26, 2009; The Washington Times
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and his wife, Karen, joined members of the U.S. men's national soccer team and representatives from the D.C. Public Charter School Board and Building Hope, a nonprofit that provides technical and financial assistance for public charter schools, for a visit to D.C. Preparatory Academy Public Charter School in Northeast Washington.
Build It and the Children Will Come
April 2009; Journal of Educational Facility Planners
On the first day of school in 2008, tiny preschoolers in maroon shirts and khaki pants skipped through brightly colored corridors. The light-filled spaces were clean, newly-painted, and brimming with the personality that can only come from kiwi green and orange floor patterns and turquoise circles framing the library. Just three months before, the dark 70,000-square-foot building at 100 41st Street, NE, ended its life as a District of Columbia Public School. The roof leaked. Ancient lights hung over huge spaces in the former 'school-without-walls building,' where classrooms were divided by furniture rather than walls. Building Hope has partnered with the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education to provide facilities that can be leased to start-up charter schools on a revolving basis.
Group to Direct Charter Transition
December 7, 2007; The Washington Post
Center City Public Charter Schools, a District-based nonprofit group, was selected over three competitors, according to the archdiocese. The nonprofit group incorporated in the District in October, according to city records. Its board members include S. Joseph Bruno, president of Building Hope, a national nonprofit group that assists charter schools with real estate deals; Ralph F. Boyd, chairman and chief executive of the Freddie Mac Foundation; and Jack Griffin, a retired real estate developer and former chairman of the Center City Consortium's board of directors.
Charting a Course for Better Schools
December 2, 2005; Harry Jaffe
His question led him to charter schools that are financed with public funds but operate independently from the school system. They needed facilities. Lord financed a $30 million fund to help. He gave the job of heading the fund to his friend and colleague S. Joseph Bruno. He said: "I want to create 10,000 new seats in three years." It was November 2003. Lord said: "Do it."
Charter schools eye potential space for DC public school closures
December 19, 2007
The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education surveyed charter schools about their space needs several months ago, and about 25 schools responded that they needed some sort of space, said Kathleen Padian, executive director of Building Hope, an organization that helps charter schools find space.
Building Hope's CFO nominated for Award for Financial Excellence
Friday, December 7, 2007
Since Paul Leleck joined Building Hope, a private foundation that supports charter schools, in late 2005, assets have climbed to their highest level: $58.6 million.
Hopes for schools put to test in N.O.
New Orleans College Prep has partnered with Building Hope, a Washington, D.C. foundation that provides technical and financial assistance to charter schools with facilities needs, to develop a financing plan - including the use of new market tax credits - and identify other sources of money.
D.C. to Lease Public Buildings to Charter Schools
Thursday, May 17, 2007; Page B05
Building Hope, a foundation that assists charter schools with real estate purchases and financing, told D.C. School Superintendent Clifford B. Janey in a letter last month that more than 23 charter schools were looking for temporary space in D.C. public school buildings while they completed construction or searched for a permanent facility.
A Boom for D.C. Charter Schools : Scores Lag but Campuses Multiply, Reshaping Educational Landscape
Thursday, May 17, 2007; Page B05
Building Hope, a nonprofit organization working with 11 D.C. charter schools, opened in 2003 with a $28 million investment from Sallie Mae, the student loan giant, and $2 million from the federal government.