Many school administrators face three hurdles when looking to start or expand a school:
- difficulty in finding available space;
- difficulty in being able to finance space with their small start-up enrollment numbers; and
- being able to focus on the development of the school rather than spending valuable time trying to come up with a facility solution.
One way we ease this burden for school leaders is by providing short-term transitional space whose rent is based on actual enrollment, not fair market value. This lets charter schools focus on building enrollment and academic programs while channeling the funds they save on rent into education programs.
We first began offering this as a facility solution in 2006 to charter schools in Washington, DC, through the Charter School Incubator Initiative. This program, developed in partnership with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), provides move-in-ready space to start-up or replicating charter schools. Once a charter school occupies the space, the incubator initiative manages the property.
Building Hope brings to the partnership our experience in facilities financing, property development and project management, while OSSE provides the financial resources.
Thanks to the incubator initiative, Washington, DC, has been able to provide space to 24 start-up or expanding charter schools over the last 10 years.
For now, the incubator initiative is limited to the nation’s capital. However, other communities have demonstrated similar needs for space to develop quality charter schools, and we are actively seeking strategic partnerships in those areas in order to expand this innovative solution.
If you are a charter school Interested in Incubator space click here.