CHARLOTTE, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Andre Agassi, tennis champion and co-managing partner of the Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund, joined officials from KIPP Charlotte along with students and parents today at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of its newest elementary school campus, KIPP Change Academy.
The 34,000-square-foot campus – built from the ground up – was developed by the Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund, an innovative, mission-driven investment fund that provides resources and real estate expertise to high‐performing charter school operators across the nation, enabling them to access top‐quality facilities.
Located at 5431 Hickory Grove Road in east Charlotte, KIPP Change Academy serves approximately 350 students in grades K-1 and 4-5, and is expected to grow to an enrollment of 560 students in grades K-5 by 2019. The school opened at another location in August 2016 before moving to its new home for the start of the current school year. The elementary school joins KIPP Academy Charlotte, which was established in 2007 and serves nearly 400 students in grades 6-8.
A network of free, open enrollment college preparatory public schools, KIPP Charlotte is working to ensure that one day all students in Charlotte will have access to an excellent education, the support to graduate from college and the opportunity to live a choice-filled life. The school is a member of KIPP, or the Knowledge Is Power Program, a national network of 209 public charter schools dedicated to preparing students in educationally underserved communities for success.
“The opening of this beautiful new elementary school is transformational for KIPP Charlotte,” said Tiffany Flowers, co-founder and executive director of KIPP Charlotte. “By partnering with Turner-Agassi, we are now able to offer a cutting-edge campus for our faculty and students to teach and learn in as we increase our focus on early childhood education.”
Securing high-quality, long-term facilities is often the greatest impediment faced by charter school leaders. Turner-Agassi provides resources, development experience and a passion for educational excellence to help top school operators focus on their first priority: helping students succeed. The Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund takes the lead in site selection, acquisition, design and construction for new school facilities, which are then leased back to school operators, who can purchase their schools once they reach full occupancy. The fund intends to 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.
“An excellent education beginning in elementary school is critical to success in college and in life,” said Andre Agassi, the fund’s Co-Managing Partner and CEO of Agassi Ventures. “This modern new facility will ensure that both students and educators have access to a school that meets their needs and enables them to thrive.”
A joint venture of Turner Impact Capital and Agassi Ventures, Turner-Agassi is backed by a world‐class group of institutional investors who share a commitment to effecting positive societal change in urban centers across the United States. To date, 79 schools have been developed across the country, serving 41,600 students in such communities as North Philadelphia, Newark, the Bronx, Southwest Detroit, South Dallas, North Las Vegas, and most recently, Charlotte. The fund is positioned to develop an additional 85 schools serving another 49,000 students by 2020. KIPP Change Academy is the sixth KIPP campus supported by Turner-Agassi. Previously, the fund worked alongside KIPP to open schools in San Antonio, Dallas and Philadelphia.
“The Turner-Agassi mission is to relieve top charter school operators of their most onerous task— finding high-quality facilities that meet the needs of their students and educators,” said Bobby Turner, the fund’s Co-Managing Partner and CEO of Turner Impact Capital. “KIPP is one of the most successful school operators in the nation, and we are tremendously proud to provide a facility that will help close the achievement gap for thousands of students in Charlotte for years to come.”
Turner Impact Capital is an acknowledged leader and innovator in the growing field of social impact investing – an investment approach that takes into account two goals: generating positive, risk-adjusted financial returns and creating purposeful, measurable, and positive social or environmental impact through those investments. Founded in 2014, the firm is on course to surpass $2.5 billion in investment potential to address challenges facing urban neighborhoods while delivering superior risk-adjusted returns for its investors.
“KIPP Charlotte is precisely the type of well-operated charter school network that the Turner-Agassi fund was created to accelerate,” said Glenn Pierce, President of Education Initiatives at Turner Impact Capital. “We are interested in scaling a sustainable education solution to benefit as many students in Charlotte and across the nation as possible.”
About KIPP Charlotte
Established in 2007, KIPP Charlotte is a free, open enrollment college preparatory public school serving more than 700 students and 600 alumni. The school opened with KIPP Academy Charlotte, a middle school, and added an elementary school, KIPP Change Academy, in the 2016-17 school year. KIPP Charlotte is a member of KIPP, or the Knowledge Is Power Program, a national network of 209 public charter schools dedicated to preparing students in educationally underserved communities for success in college and life. KIPP Charlotte is working to ensure that one day all students in Charlotte will have access to an excellent education, the support to graduate from college and the opportunity to live a choice-filled life. For more information, please visit www.kippcharlotte.org.
About the Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund
The Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund is the nation’s largest fund solely designed to accelerate the growth of high-performing, urban charter schools. Since its inception in 2011, the original fund and its successor have developed 79 schools serving the needs of 41,600 students throughout the United States. With dedicated funding from preeminent social impact investors, the fund is expected to open an additional 85 schools serving 49,000 students by 2020. For more information, please visit www.turnerimpact.com.