BOYNTON BEACH, Fla.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Andre Agassi, Bobby Turner and other representatives from the Canyon-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund (CACSFF) joined Franklin Academy leaders and other dignitaries today to celebrate openings of two new Franklin Academy campuses in South Florida.
“Franklin Academy is preparing Florida students to excel in the years ahead, and I’m gratified that our fund can support their critical work.”
The new facilities in Boynton Beach and Cooper City serve a combined 2,680 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. They were developed through a partnership between Franklin Academy and CACSFF, an innovative investment fund providing much-needed capital to top charter school operators, enabling them to acquire high-quality school facilities. The Boynton Beach school is a 97,000-square-foot facility with 80 classrooms located on 9.9 acres on South Military Trail; the Cooper City school is an 85,000-square-foot building also with 80 classrooms, located on 9.2 acres on South Flamingo Road.
Franklin Academy is a growing network of charter schools with approximately 3,800 students and families and 240 teachers, principals and staff members. A third Franklin Academy school is located in Pembroke Pines. Operated by the Florida Charter Foundation, Franklin Academy provides a single-gender educational program that helps students develop critical thinking skills and achieve academically.
“The students of Boynton Beach and Cooper City hold tremendous promise, and best-in-class charter schools like Franklin Academy are uniquely positioned to help them go on to college and successful careers,” said Bobby Turner, CACSFF co-managing partner and chairman and CEO of Canyon Capital Realty Advisors. “These superb learning facilities will only enlarge Franklin’s positive impact in these communities.”
The only fund of its kind in the nation, CACSFF is a joint venture between Canyon Capital Realty Advisors (CCRA) and Agassi Ventures (AV) to facilitate the development of school sites in urban communities across the United States. The partnership combines CCRA’s and AV’s substantial resources, development expertise and passion for educational excellence to help charter schools secure academically friendly, environmentally sustainable school facilities. Charter schools are growing rapidly across the country, and operators routinely cite securing suitable learning facilities as one of their greatest challenges.
The two facilities are among the 18 CACSFF schools opening on 11 campuses this fall. Over the next three years, CACSFF aims to provide educational opportunities for 30,000 underserved students in urban areas across the country.
“Great schools do more than simply educate; they inspire a love for learning and give young people the tools they need to succeed,” said Andre Agassi, CACSFF co-managing partner, CEO of Agassi Ventures and founder of the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy. “Franklin Academy is preparing Florida students to excel in the years ahead, and I’m gratified that our fund can support their critical work.”
Franklin Academy students engage in a rigorous curriculum promoting technology, creativity, teamwork and character development. Using Common Core State Standards, core subject areas align with state-provided course descriptions to ensure students are well-prepared at each grade level. Franklin Academy pursues single-gender classes in core subjects based on research showing important differences between the learning styles of boys and girls. Franklin Academy is also committed to the development of critical thinking and analytical skills of students. Each campus offers a tournament-style chess program as part of the curriculum in which all students participate as a course offering.
Franklin Academy’s new campuses feature specialty rooms for music, art, chess and science, as well as computer labs and a large multipurpose room. Outside, students enjoy a beautiful campus with athletic fields, jogging paths and fitness stations, as well as age-appropriate play areas for younger students. Franklin’s Boynton campus also includes a 14,000-square-foot gymnasium.
“Our mission is to prepare 21st-century scholars and leaders through a rigorous academic program that strengthens both mind and character,” said Dr. David Thomas, Chairman of the Florida Charter Foundation, the parent of Franklin Academy. “We’re grateful to the Canyon-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund for helping us touch even more lives through these first-class facilities.”
Cooper City Commissioner Jeff Green welcomed Franklin to the city, saying that high-achieving charter schools play an important role in Broward County. “Our future as a community and a state depends on first-rate schools, where committed educators guide students who are motivated to learn,” he said. “Franklin Academy and all successful schools are instrumental to our long-term health and success.”
CACSFF has the backing of a world-class group of institutional investors who share its commitment to effecting positive societal change while pursuing fair financial returns.
In addition to providing high-quality facilities at affordable lease rates, the fund provides charter school operators the opportunity to purchase their schools once they reach full occupancy. CACSFF will help operators obtain permanent financing to purchase their properties using New Market Tax Credits, tax-exempt bond offerings, or funding from the U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.
“Our goal is not to simply build school buildings, but to give great educators the chance to nurture outstanding learning communities where students can thrive,” said CACSFF CEO and President Glenn Pierce. “We’re excited to continue making a difference in Florida and in communities across the United States.”
About Canyon-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund
The Canyon-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund is the nation’s first market-driven real estate fund designed to accelerate growth of high-performing charter schools and provide educational opportunities for tens of thousands of underserved students while simultaneously targeting market-rate financial returns for socially responsible investors. The Canyon-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund is managed by Canyon-Agassi Realty Advisors, and is a partnership between an affiliate of Canyon Capital Realty Advisors LLC and Agassi Ventures, LLC. For more information, visit www.canyonagassi.com.
About Franklin Academy
Franklin Academy is a growing network of Florida charter schools with approximately 3,800 students located on three campuses. Operated by the Florida Charter Foundation, Franklin Academy takes a unique approach to learning by positioning its students to succeed in and beyond the classroom through a single-gender academic program. Franklin students engage in a rigorous curriculum promoting technology, creativity, teamwork and a sustained program of character development that helps develop the whole child, beyond just textbooks. For more information, visit www.franklin-academy.org.