News Ticker

Phoenix IDA Approves $34M for Three Charter Schools Expansion

By Eric Jay Toll for The Arizona Builder’s Exchange

One new school campus, two building acquisitions and renovations, and school repairs are moving forward for three Phoenix charter school groups funded with $34M in bonds from the Phoenix Industrial Development Authority. Choice Academies, Inc., Basis School Inc. and Phoenix Collegiate Academy are the recipients of $17M, $10M and $7M respectively.

Choice Academies, Inc., (602-938-5517) plans to use the money to acquire a 17K SF building near the Adams Traditional Academy campus, 2323 W. Parkside Ln., and add 11 classrooms, a multipurpose room and a kitchen. The school has 700 students this year. Sharon Malone is the principal and chief administrator for the school.

Basis Chandler

Basis School Inc., (480-767-7696) a Scottsdale based non-profit with eight schools from Flagstaff to Tucson, plans to acquire a not-yet-selected Ahwatukee campus. The school wants the new grades 5-10 campus to open in July, 2013, hosting 500 students with another 225 juniors and seniors enrolled by school year 2015. This will be its second in Phoenix school joining the new campus near 32nd St. and Shea Blvd. Campuses in Chandler and Tucson opened this school year. Nick Fleege is the new school development director.

Phoenix Collegiate Academy (602-268-9900) enrolls 190 students in grades 5 through 8 at its campus, 5610 S. Central Ave. The bonds will fund acquisition and remodel of a 20K SF building, 4441 S. 12th St., for 9th through 12th grade students. The move will double the district’s enrollment. Some bond funds are allocated for repairs and new classroom equipment at the S. Central Ave. campus. Rachel Yanoff and Akshai Patel are the executive and managing directors.

The Phoenix IDA action must go to the full city council on August 29th for final approval. Charter school construction and repair funding were recently added to the IDA’s menu of eligible projects. Bond funds are issued through a municipal bond-like instrument and repaid by the borrowing schools with low interest and an authority fee. The repaid principal and fees are used to reseed additional capital for future bond issues.