A #CDFIstory About Expanding Access to Quality Education
Client: Athenian Academy Charter School
Client Location: Fort Myers, FL
CDFI: Building Hope
Financing and property development
Athenian Academy Charter School (Athenian), a well-established, high performing Florida Public Charter School, opened its doors in 2000 to provide educational choice for parents and students in Pinellas County. In 14 years, the school grew in size and reputation, becoming an A-rated Florida school with 300 students in grades K-8. The school was ready to expand access to the local community, but needed a larger space to do so. With approval and support from the Pinellas County School District, and a site identified for the expansion, Athenian was ready to move forward, but they needed funding.
Building Hope served as equity investor and developer on the project. Working with the Athenian team, Building Hope purchased and developed the property, contracting directly with LAI Construction Management to be the design/builder and general contractor of the project. The total project size was approximately $6.9 million in land and development costs, funded by Building Hope through $3.45 million in equity and $3.5 million in debt obtained through a loan via Green Access EB-5.
In September 2015, the 40,000 square foot school facility was ready and opened, increasing their capacity to serve up to 600 students.
More about Building Hope here.