Friday, June 20, 2014
Gulen Minnesota School of Science closed, Re opens under Minnesota Math and Science Academy
Gulen (Concept Schools) operated Minnesota School of Science was closed, among many scandals but their worst abuse was denying education to special needs children. This landed them in hot water and on the local news plus the Huffington http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/01/minnesota-school-of-scien_n_1729305.html Fast forward 1 year, the Gulen Movement purchases a old industrial building for $1 million and pumps another $2 million into renovations under their construction and management company New Plan Learning, http://www.newplanlearning.com
After being evicted, the the Minnesota School of Science is re opening under a new name Minnesota Math and Science Academy. http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/220751321.html
More information here, which led to them closing down and being denied space at MPS buildings. http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2013/06/17/n-mpls-charter-school-closing-amid-allegations/ http://horizonparentstruth.blogspot.com/2013/08/concept-schools-gulen-management-loses.html
A charter school plans to convert a nearly 50-year-old light industrial building in St. Paul into an elementary school focused on math and science.
The Minnesota Math and Science Academy is opening Sept. 2 in a 1966 warehouse at 169 Jenks Ave., which was once owned by Stillwater-based Modernistic Die Cutting.
The school will initially be home to 300 pupils from kindergarten through the sixth grade, said Yasar Bora, superintendent of West Concept Schools for Concept Schools Inc., a Des Plaines, Illinois-based charter school management company. From there, the school plans to add one grade per year until it has 790 students between kindergarten and the 12th grade.
The charter school facility organization New Plan Learning, also of Des Plaines, Illinois, bought the property June 3 for $1.8 million, according to the certificate of real estate value. The organization has hired Schreiber Mullaney Construction of St. Paul to undertake a $2.1 million renovation of the building.
New Plan Learning will own the building, and the Minnesota Math and Science Academy will be the tenant, Bora said in an e-mail interview.
The school selected the industrial building, which is southwest of the Interstate35E and Maryland Avenue interchange, because no vacant school buildings were available, Bora said. The old Modernistic Die Cutting building offered an affordable option that had both a good location and a building in good condition.
“We did not have a lot of options,” he said.
Finding space is a perennial challenge for charter schools, said Jessica Johnson, project manager lead with the Charter School Facilities Initiative in Denver. They can’t always depend on local school districts to provide space, and building their own schools from scratch can be costly.
Nationwide, about 25 percent of charters used buildings owned by local school districts, said Katherine Bathgate, a spokeswoman for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools in Washington, D.C. An additional 17 percent use space provided by nonprofits unrelated to the charter.
About 9.5 percent of charters use space owned by related nonprofits, as is the case with the Minnesota Math and Science Academy.
This forces charters to get creative when looking for space, said Johnson, who’s also the director of policy and legal initiatives for the Colorado League of Charter Schools. When the economic downturn hit, charters snapped up former big box locations and warehouses that had closed. SkyView Academy, for example, opened a location in a 110,000-square-foot former Home Depot in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.
These sites are all about the shell inside, not what’s on the outside, she said. Whatever type of facility they use, schools still have to make sure they’re compliant with relevant codes and building standards. In many ways, these alternative sites are ideal because they allow the school plenty of flexibility to put in classrooms, gyms, a kitchen and other features, she said.
“When you have that big, open space, it’s kind of an empty canvas that you can do whatever you want with,” she said. “I think people are embracing that charter schools are taking some of those spaces that would otherwise go unused.”
The old Modernistic Die Cutting building isn’t quite as big as SkyView Academy’s facility. The 4.36-acre site has 73,508 square feet total: 60,428 square feet of warehouse space, 7,000 square feet of office space and 6,080 square feet in an adjacent pole barn.
Bora said the renovation is costly and time-consuming but that the building allows the school to create the facility it needs.
“You may convert the building to a school however you plan the school,” he said.
Read more: http://finance-commerce.com/2014/06/charter-school-will-occupy-industrial-building-in-st-paul/#ixzz35DJRoY9j
More about Concept Schools property management and construction firm New Plan Learning http://www.newplanlearning.com/properties/