LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Las Vegas native Andre Agassi, along with Bobby Turner and other leaders from the Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund, joined with educators and local dignitaries today to celebrate the opening of two new charter school campuses in greater Las Vegas: Doral Academy – Cactus Campus and Somerset Academy – Losee Campus.
Both schools opened this year and were developed through a partnership with the Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund, an innovative, mission-driven investment fund that provides resources, development expertise and a passion for educational excellence to top charter school operators, enabling them to secure high-quality school facilities. Other key partners include Doral Academy of Nevada, Somerset Academy of Las Vegas and Academica Nevada, an education management organization.
“If you ask charter school operators to name their greatest impediment to growth, they will tell you that it is accessing high-quality, long-term facilities,” said Bobby Turner, the Fund’s Co-Managing Partner and Principal & CEO of Turner Impact Capital. “Our mission is to enable top-tier charter school operators, like Doral Academy and Somerset Academy, to have the facilities they need so they can focus on what they do best— providing an excellent education for students.
A joint venture of Turner Impact Capital and Agassi Ventures, the Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund facilitates the development of school sites in urban communities across the United States. The Fund is positioned to invest over $500 million to develop 70-75 school sites for up to 35,000 students. To date, 39 schools have been developed across the country, serving more than 17,000 students.
“These schools build on my long-standing commitment to expand educational opportunities for children in my hometown of Las Vegas,” said Andre Agassi, the Fund’s Co-Managing Partner and CEO of Agassi Ventures. “Over the past few years, we’ve been able to build over 17,000 seats for students enrolled in best-in-class charter schools across the country, and are excited to continue helping more schools grow in the years to come.”
Under the leadership of Principal Danielle Marshall, Doral Academy – Cactus Campus serves 800 K-7 students, and will grow to serve 920 K-8 students by 2018. The school operates in a 53,000-square-foot facility in Las Vegas, with a multipurpose room, indoor and outdoor stages, a media lab, a turf field and multiple specialized classrooms. The school emphasizes arts integration, improving literacy and improving the social and cognitive development of each student.
“I’ve been gratified to support Doral Academy’s efforts to serve more students in Las Vegas,” said Clark County Commissioner Susan Brager. “This school does much more than simply educate students— it inspires a lifelong love for learning and opens new opportunities for students by providing the skills necessary to succeed in college and beyond.”
Nevada State Senator Justin Jones was on hand to celebrate the opening of Doral Academy’s newest campus. “High-achieving schools form the backbone of strong, healthy communities,” said Jones. “I congratulate the students and leadership of Doral Academy as they embark on a new school year and celebrate this beautiful new building.”
Doral Academy – Cactus Campus is Turner-Agassi’s second investment with Doral Academy of Nevada; the first was the organization’s West Saddle Avenue Campus in Las Vegas, which opened in August 2013.
The second school, Somerset Academy – Losee Campus, occupies an 83,165-square-foot building in North Las Vegas and currently serves 1,150 K-9 students. Two upcoming phases of construction will expand the Losee campus to accommodate a high school, allowing for a total enrollment of 2,230 students in grades K-12 by 2020. The school is led by Elementary School Principal Elaine Kelley and Middle/High School Principal Dan Phillips, and is grounded in a campus culture that promotes self-motivated learning, effective instructional practices and accountability.
“Today’s celebration demonstrates that many different partners must come together to ensure the success of the next generation,” said Nevada State Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson, District 17, who attended the afternoon opening event at Somerset Academy – Losee Campus. “We’re thankful for the support of individuals in our community and in the private sector who are committed to the success of our students.”
In addition to providing high-quality facilities at affordable lease rates, the Fund enables charter school operators to purchase their schools once they reach full occupancy. The Fund 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.
Doral Academy of Nevada and Somerset Academy of Las Vegas – the two schools’ parent organizations– are managed by Academica Nevada, a professional education management organization that supports charter schools with essential services such as charter approvals, facility selection, financial services and strategic planning.
About the Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund
The Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund is a market-driven real estate investment fund designed to accelerate the growth of high-performing charter schools throughout the United States. The Fund intends to develop an additional 70-75 schools, serving up to 35,000 students, and is a partnership between an affiliate of Turner Impact Capital, LLC and Agassi Ventures, LLC. For more information, please visit www.turneragassi.com.
About Doral Academy of Nevada
Doral Academy of Nevada is dedicated to promoting outstanding achievement and developing well-rounded students in all areas of education. Students are prepared in an academically challenging, personally meaningful learning environment that emphasizes arts integration as well as improving literacy and increasing cognitive and social development. Doral Academy currently serves approximately 1,660 students two campuses in Las Vegas and is managed by Academica Nevada, an education management organization. For more information, please visit www.doralacademynv.org.
About Somerset Academy of Las Vegas
Founded in 1997, Somerset Academy is dedicated to providing an equitable, high-quality education for all students, and has yielded over 20 high-performing charter school programs in grades K-12 throughout Nevada, Florida and Texas. Somerset Academy promotes a culture that maximizes student achievement and fosters the development of accountable, 21st-century learners in a safe and enriching environment. Somerset Academy of Las Vegas currently serves over 4,500 students across four campuses in the greater Las Vegas area and is managed by Academica Nevada, an education management organization. For more information, please visit www.somersetacademyoflasvegas.com.