MCN Built a Thriving Business Around Charter Schools

Three immigrants from Lebanon Bassem Boustany, Rudy Seikaly and Joseph Khoury formed a construction company in 2007 and though things were slow at first, they had faith in their business.

They also knew they wanted it to be more than just a business.

“We asked ourselves: What are we doing here?” Lisa Anders, the vice president of business development at MCN Build said. “We need to have a purpose and a mission.”

It didn’t take long before MCN Build found both. The little startup is now a multi-million-dollar firm with projects going up all around the world.

MCN Build’s success is due to many things, but its founders say their growth really began when they put their mission-driven purpose into action. The company is based in the Washington D.C. area, and they decided to focus on building education projects.

MCN didn’t have a whole lot of money at the time but gave some of it to a charter school. That led to networking, and that led to a meeting with Building Hope. It led to MCN putting in a bid to build a 40,000-square foot charter school, with one daunting provision: the school needed to be built in 40 days.

It was such a tight construction schedule other firms were shying away. Not MCN Build. “We delivered it in 37 days,” said Bassem Boustany. Their project was not only delivered on time, it won architectural awards and provided an entry into both the construction and education industries.

“That kind of put MCN on the map with charter schools,” Anders said. “And even (traditional) public-school folks came to see the project.”

Since then, MCN Build has built or renovated more than 6 million square feet of education space. That covers dozens of projects that have created more than 1,000 jobs for local residents.

MCN Build doesn’t just construct buildings. It strives to make those buildings fulfill their missions.

For example, one charter school project included a music room. The problem was that when students first showed up, they had nothing to play. MCN Build bought musical instruments for the school.

That’s just one example of how the company exercises its core values. Boustany and his partners started the MCN Build Foundation, which has donated more than $3 million to education projects.

MCN has built an orphanage and schools in Lebanon, Ethiopia and El Salvador. Such projects have impacted more than 5,000 underprivileged children.
MCN Build also has sponsored the Building Hope Impact Awards from inception because building more educational opportunities for students is a shared mission.

The relationship with Building Hope back almost to the company’s founding, when three immigrants wanted their company to have a mission and a purpose.

It found both, with an assist from Building Hope.

“We have a great relationship with Building Hope,” Boustany said. “We’re building schools not just all over America, but all over the world now and Building Hope really got us started.”

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William Fay

Bill Fay is a freelance writer supplying content for the communication outlets Building Hope uses to promote and expand charter school programs in the U.S. Bill started his career as a sports writer for the Tampa Tribune and Associated Press. He has written about Super Bowls, NBA Finals and college football, basketball and baseball championships. He has turned his attention to more serious subjects like public transportation, personal finance and now, education. He welcomes opportunities to learn more from the charter school audience and become a voice for their community.