DALLAS--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Andre Agassi, Bobby Turner and representatives from the Canyon-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund (CACSFF) joined KIPP leaders today to celebrate the opening of KIPP Destiny Elementary, a new public charter school in South Dallas. This is CACSFF’s first investment in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and its first investment with KIPP DFW, a charter school network that provides college-preparatory education for students from underserved backgrounds.
“We are confident that KIPP Destiny Elementary will deliver terrific results for its new students.”
KIPP Destiny Elementary, which opened this fall with 190 pre-K and kindergarten students, is housed in a redeveloped Mervyns’ department store building located at 3663 West Camp Wisdom Road. It secured its new home through a partnership with CACSFF, an innovative investment fund providing much-needed capital to top charter school operators, enabling them to acquire high-quality school facilities. CACSFF acquired and developed the 6.1-acre site earlier this year, converting it into a 40,000-square-foot, modern facility with 12 classrooms, a science lab, administrative offices and a large multipurpose room. A new 37,000-square-foot middle school is expected on the site in 2015.
The investment in KIPP Destiny is CACSFF’s second partnership with the KIPP network nationally. CACSFF partnered with KIPP Philadelphia in 2012 to open a new elementary school to serve students in North Philadelphia.
“We are excited to build on the momentum of the Canyon-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund with the opening of KIPP Destiny, allowing talented educators to focus on what they do best: teaching children,” said Bobby Turner, CACSFF Co-Managing Partner and Chairman and CEO of Canyon Capital Realty Advisors. “KIPP has a tremendous track record of innovation and achievement, and we are pleased to team with them for a second time here in Dallas for another success story.”
KIPP Dallas-Fort Worth was founded in 2003 with the opening of KIPP TRUTH Academy, a middle school in South Dallas. Part of the KIPP – Knowledge Is Power Program – network of 141 public charter schools serving 50,000 students nationwide, KIPP Destiny is the first KIPP elementary school to open in Dallas. KIPP DFW plans to open eight additional schools serving 5,000 students in the Dallas area by 2022.
“We are grateful for our partnership with the Canyon-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund and the chance to expand our reach in the Dallas community,” said KIPP DFW Executive Director Quinton Vance.
“This exceptional learning space will help us continue our work to ensure all our students are building the academic and character strengths that will help them thrive as they climb the mountain to and through college.”
“Today is a great day for the city of Dallas. KIPP Destiny Elementary will provide children with more high-quality education options that lead to successful careers,” Mayor Mike Rawlings said. “KIPP is a catalyst for change because it allows students to make choices about colleges and careers that they might not otherwise be able to make.”
The only fund of its kind in the United States, CACSFF was created in 2011 as 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 assist the charter school community in securing academically friendly, environmentally sustainable school facilities for students and teachers. The number of charter schools across the country is continuing to grow every year, and operators routinely cite securing suitable learning facilities as one of their greatest challenges.
KIPP Destiny is among 18 schools which opened in 11 new CACSFF-developed 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.
“By financing quality school facilities, we are breaking down one of the biggest barriers facing charter school operators like KIPP DFW and enabling great schools to flourish in Dallas and all over the country,” said Andre Agassi, CACSFF Co-Managing Partner, CEO of Agassi Ventures and founder of the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy. “We are confident that KIPP Destiny Elementary will deliver terrific results for its new students.”
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 using New Market Tax Credits, tax-exempt bond offerings, or funding from the U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.
“Securing adequate facilities is the greatest impediment to charter school growth, and CACSFF is uniquely positioned to provide long-term facility solutions to high-quality charter operators. This allows them to provide the best education possible for their students,” said CACSFF CEO Glenn Pierce. “As we continue investing across the country, more charter operators are recognizing the value of this sustainable and market-driven fund, and are calling on CACSFF to help enhance their ability to serve kids in need. We look forward to opening many more campuses in the near future.”
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.
KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program, is a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools. As part of the acclaimed national KIPP network of charter schools, KIPP features an extended day, week, and year and a relentless commitment to preparing underserved students for college. KIPP Dallas-Fort Worth was founded in 2003 with the opening of KIPP DFW TRUTH academy in South Dallas. KIPP DFW plans to open eight additional schools, serving 5,000 students in the Dallas area by 2022. For more information, please visit www.kippdfw.org.