Planning, locating and securing facilities is challenging for most charter schools, as Arizona College Prep Academy in Tucson learned through experience. The charter school recently held a grand opening celebration of it’s new facility that now accommodates classes and extra-curricular activities for nearly 125 students with room to grow.
Arizona College Prep Academy opened originally in 1997 as an affiliate to AmeriSchools network and subsequently became an independent charter school in 2012. Growing and in need of a new facility, the charter school’s administrators were faced with unexpected challenges. Banks would not provide the charter school facilities financing because they viewed Arizona College Prep Academy as a new school and therefore high risk. Likewise, they were ineligible for start-up funds because they were a pre-established charter school transfer. In an effort to find resources they desperately needed, school officials contacted several third-party organizations. However, none came through. Enter Charter School Capital, the only organization with ability, knowledge and desire to help.
“We couldn’t have even looked at a building like this without Charter School Capital,” explained Freddy Mendoza, assistant principal and co-founder at Arizona College Prep Academy. “They made deals available to us that wouldn’t have been otherwise. Once the deal was made, they were critical in helping us understand what we needed to do. Their team made it easy for us.”
Charter School Capital provided the technical commercial real-estate knowledge and assistance in addition to the facilities financing necessary to purchase the property and then lease the property back to the charter school. Charter School Capital will retain ownership of the property, alleviating the need for the school to spend lots of time focused on building repairs and maintenance and instead focus on their mission – educating students.
“It’s rewarding to know that Arizona College Prep Academy stayed on mission and we were able to help them find a facility that matched their goals,” said Stuart Ellis, president and CEO of Charter School Capital. “The charter school is now in a new space that matches their educational mission and culture, providing stability for college-bound students for years to come.”
Students, parents, teachers, and the Tucson community are excited. The new building is perfect for the charter school’s needs and gives them room for continued growth. Last week the community gathered to celebrate the opening of Arizona College Prep Academy’s new facility. Alumni, educators, dignitaries, community representatives, students, family, and friends of the charter school joined together to recognize the milestone and mark the building as their own.
Alumni drew outlines of their hands and signed their names along a wall mural to support the strong future for Arizona College Prep Academy and its students. Olympic Gold Medalist, Chrissy Pernham was on hand to share her thoughts about the importance of education and perseverance. The charter school has a bright future with a great new space that will support them as they grow.
Congratulations, Arizona College Prep Academy. The Charter School Capital team wishes you all the best.
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Since the company’s inception in 2006, Charter School Capital has been committed to the success of charter schools. We help schools access, leverage, and sustain the resources charter schools need to thrive, allowing them to focus on what matters most – educating students. Our depth of experience working with charter school leaders and our knowledge of how to address charter school financial and operational needs have allowed us to provide over $1.8 billion in support of 600 charter schools that have educated over 1,027,000 students across the country. For more information on how we can support your charter school, contact us. We’d love to work with you!