Schools of Science & Technology

Schools of Science & Technology

Bold Strides

Schools of Science Technology, a network of successful STEM-focused public charter schools in southeastern Texas, made an aggressive ask. Building Hope was ready to take the plunge.

Building Hope’s Role:

Financing | Real Estate Development 

Location: Houston, TX
Grades Served: PK – 8
Number of Students: 400
Square feet of space created: 40,000
Year completed: 2019

Location: San Antonio, TX
Grades Served: 
PK – 8
Number of Students:
 550
Square feet of space created:
 66,000
Year completed:
2019 

|

They get it and got it done!

They did a great job. Their expertise was very good, and their financing was the best!

Fevzi Simsek
CFO, SST Public Schools

Building a Bridge

In 2016, Schools of Science Technology (SST), a successful network of STEM-focused public charter schools in southeastern Texas, decided to expand their operations. To make it work, SST would need new facilities— but also needed to buy them, and that could only happen if they saved some money. The proposed solution was to find another buyer, lease the facilities, and build up resources to purchase them…by paying no rent for the first year.

A tall order, to say the least. Filling it would take someone who understood what SST was trying to do—and had the creativity to make the accounting work.

Enter Building Hope. We began our partnership in 2017 with two projects: San Antonio’s SST – North West and Houston’s SST – Excellence, both serving disadvantaged Texas communities. For North West, we built a new facility from scratch and folded the first year’s rent into the project costs. SST had found an existing, move-in-ready facility for Excellence; with no project cost, we simply added the rent amount to the purchase option in their lease agreement. 

“It allowed us to beef up our cash,” explains Fevzi Simsek, the CFO of SST Public Schools.” We didn’t pay rent or building costs, and we had new kids coming in so we increased our revenue. Along with the financial stability, we’ve also seen academic success, and that’s allowed us to attract high investment ratings.”

Those ratings, in turn, allowed SST to access the Texas Permanent School Fund, a bond guarantee program. In December 2019, SST purchased both the North West and Excellence campuses outright.

SST and Building Hope have also collaborated to complete three more schools in Houston and San Antonio under the same terms, with Building Hope acting as both real-estate developer and a bridge solution on SST’s way to the bond market.

EXPANDING TO MEET STUDENT’S NEEDS

Schools for Science & Technology are making an impact with over 500 people on each school’s waiting list. 

|

A great partnership.

I’m very happy we encountered the people at Building Hope. We were able to build such a great partnership.

 

Fevzi Simsek
CFO, SST Public Schools