DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Andre Agassi, tennis champion and co-managing partner of the Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund, and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings joined officials from KIPP Dallas-Fort Worth (KIPP DFW) Public Schools along with students and parents today at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate a new public charter school campus, KIPP Pleasant Grove.
The roughly 82,000-square-foot campus – built from the ground up – is home to KIPP Pleasant Grove Primary and Middle Schools and features classrooms, a gymnasium, a cafeteria, playgrounds and a soccer field. The site 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 2200 N. St. Augustine Dr. in southern Dallas, KIPP Pleasant Grove currently educates approximately 480 students in grades K-2 and 5. At maturity, the campus will educate students in grades K-8.
KIPP Pleasant Grove Primary and Middle Schools join a community of four other schools operated by KIPP DFW, a network of free, open enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools. KIPP DFW is working to ensure that one day all students in the Dallas-Fort Worth area will have access to an excellent education, the support to graduate from college and the opportunity to live a choice-filled life. KIPP DFW is the local arm of the national KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) network, which comprises 209 public charter schools dedicated to preparing students in educationally under-resourced communities for success.
“The opening of the new KIPP Pleasant Grove campus is a monumental milestone for our primary and middle school students in southern Dallas,” said Dr. Michael A. Horne, Superintendent of KIPP DFW. “Partnering with Turner-Agassi has allowed us to create a beautiful, modern campus that meets our exact needs so that our students and educators can achieve their highest potential.”
“KIPP DFW provides an excellent education to thousands of students across the Dallas-Forth Worth area, and it is wonderful to see their partnership with the Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund yield the top-quality facilities the kids deserve,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “Seeing students and educators utilizing this beautiful new campus underscores the link between great facilities and successful learning, whether it takes place in the classroom, on the playground or in the gym.”
Securing high-quality, long-term facilities is often the greatest impediment faced by charter school leaders. The Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund provides resources, development experience and a passion for educational excellence to help top school operators focus on their first priority: helping students succeed. Turner-Agassi 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 helps 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.
“The Turner-Agassi mission is to allow high-achieving charter schools to focus on their most important task— educating young people—while we focus on providing learning-friendly facilities to match the school’s excellence,” said Bobby Turner, the fund’s Co-Managing Partner and CEO of Turner Impact Capital. “KIPP is one of the most successful charter school operators in the nation, and we are proud to partner with them to provide the students of southern Dallas with a state-of-the art environment to learn and grow in.”
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 and North Las Vegas.
“An environment where students are free to focus on receiving an excellent education is fundamental to continued learning and success later in life,” said Andre Agassi, the fund’s Co-Managing Partner and CEO of Agassi Ventures. “This new facility will ensure that more students in Dallas can access a great education, and ultimately achieve their highest potential and contribution to society.”
Turner-Agassi is positioned to develop an additional 85 schools serving another 49,000 students by 2020. KIPP Pleasant Grove is the seventh KIPP campus supported by Turner-Agassi. Previously, the fund worked alongside KIPP to open KIPP Destiny Elementary and Middle School and KIPP Dallas’ South Ewing Campus, both in the Dallas Fort-Worth area, as well as KIPP schools in San Antonio, Charlotte and Philadelphia.
“KIPP DFW’s network of schools are incredibly accomplished, and we are delighted to help this proven organization serve even more local students,” said Glenn Pierce, President of Education Initiatives at Turner Impact Capital. “By harnessing market forces, we can scale a sustainable educational solution to benefit thousands of students and families in Dallas and in communities across the nation.”
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.
About KIPP Dallas-Fort Worth
Founded in 2003, KIPP DFW has been redefining what is possible in public education. KIPP DFW is a growing network of free, college-preparatory public charter schools that prepare students for success in college and in life. Outstanding educators, more time in school, a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum, and a strong culture of achievement and support help our students make significant academic gains. KIPP DFW currently operates six schools educating 2,400 students in grades K-8. For more information, please visit www.kippdfw.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.