DC International’s 135,000 sqft facility was a massive undertaking. Building Hope financed the project, managed the renovation, and currently still provides valuable business office solutions.
“Building Hope understands charter schools and making them work – they have the pulse on everything!”
~ Mary Shaffner ~
D.C. International School
D.C. International School (DCI) came to life in 2014 when five charter elementary schools joined forces to extend their language-immersion curricula to middle and high school grade levels. “It’s a first-of-its-kind collaboration; nobody else in the country has done it,” said DCI Executive Director Mary Shaffner. “It required a lot of work but it happened.”
The school opened in a temporary facility. For its permanent home, the school pursued another first of its kind – Delano Hall, a 135,000-square-foot military dormitory on the decommissioned Walter Reed Army Medical Center campus. The facility required remodeling on an unprecedented scale.
For that, DCI looked to Building Hope’s team of experts. Building Hope advised DCI on acquisition of the property and helped the school’s leaders work with the Army, D.C. officials and DCI’s board. Simultaneously, Building Hope provided support for the school’s temporary facility.
Building Hope managed every aspect of the Delano Hall total renovation. The completed facility features 85 classrooms and a 40,000-square-foot expansion that includes a gym, theater, science labs and art studios. With Building Hope’s support, DCI students were able to begin the 2017-2018 academic year in their new, state-of-the-art facility, as planned.
With the ongoing support of Building Hope, DCI has had spectacular success. D.C.’s Public Charter School Board rates DCI as a Tier 1 school. It currently serves 1,300 students and boasts one of the city’s most diverse enrollments.
In addition to financial and real estate support, Building Hope manages DCI’s accounting. In 2019, Building Hope’s team served as the school’s financial advisor on long-term bond financing, saving the school roughly $100,000 each month.