Thursday, April 28, 2016

MPA Facility Update
April 2016

As we enter into the 3rd trimester of the school year, we are already so proud of the amazing achievements and wonderful events that have taken place within our community.  Our students have been proudly participating and often earning placements in Math Competitions, Chess Tournaments, Power of the Pen, Destination Imagination, National History Day, Science Fair, and Invention Convention. We have watched our wonderfully talented students showcased in the choir and band concerts, 3rd grade play, and 7/8th grade in The Dust Bowl Museum, the culminating activity in reading “The Grapes of Wrath”. The 5/6th grade social studies classes are enthusiastically receiving responses to their letters written to local government officials, as well as the President of the United States. (Look for the framed letter and pictures, outside of Mrs Veccia’s office.) We look forward to what amazing activities the 3rd trimester holds for us!

While the temperature has been fluctuating and the flowers don’t know if they should bloom now or wait, your Board of Directors is continuing to move forward with our plans for MPA’s new campus site.

Next School Year
Let’s get the answer to the question we know is on everybody’s mind – have we finalized the sublease agreement to remain in our current building next year? We are glad to be able to share that the Board approved executing the sublease agreement at its last regular meeting. This is a one-year agreement that will allow us to remain at our current location next school year. Both the St. Mel Parish and Cleveland Catholic diocese made this exception (they are not typically supportive of sublease arrangements) based on MPA’s strong positive relationship with the parish. While there are additional final signatures and processes that will need to take place, we are confident with the intentions of all parties and are making plans accordingly for the summer and next school year.

We continue to work with our financial consultant and a team of lenders who are all working diligently to get this project closed. There are now 6 different lenders involved – 2 mission-focused lenders, 2 traditional banks (tax credit investor and county loan investor), Cuyahoga County, and the Community Development Entity (CDE) who chose our project for a New Market Tax Credit allocation. We recently attended a board meeting where the county loan was approved and received a term sheet from one of the traditional banks. Our project is on the agenda for upcoming credit committee meetings for the other lenders.

Since the last update we received bid proposals from several builders. Our Board selected Geis Construction, and they have been engaged in a value engineering process for several weeks now. The goal is to get the project costs aligned with the budget. This process is estimated to be complete in the next week or two and will enable the lenders to include that information in their proposals to their respective credit committees.

Funding Opportunities
Progress has been made in several areas for additional funding opportunities.
1.           Charter School Facilities Grant (CSFG). The 2014-15 report cards are available and we are happy to say that our scores demonstrate that we qualify for this opportunity. This is a matching grant, so we will need to show our part if we are awarded. We will keep you apprised on the progress towards our application.
2.           State Historic Tax Credits (SHTC). We have resubmitted the application for the SHTC. We are hopeful that the third time's a charm! The announcement of the approved projects are anticipated by the end of June.
3.           Ohio Capital Bill/Partnership with CSU.  This is moving forward but the timing is further off.

Remember, while all of these possibilities are exciting, none of them are included in the current funding model.  Success on any of them will be a bonus and allow us to further outfit the building and complete more spaces.

Upcoming Community Forum
The next Community Meeting will be Monday, April 25th, 6:30-8:00 p.m. in the Cafetorium. Updates on the new facility, summer activities and the upcoming school year will be provided.

Engage in THIS MOMENT– Build It, Fill It, and Pay For It
Our volunteer committee members and staff have made amazing progress on all fronts. If you have not yet found a way to engage, please reach out to our volunteer Project Manager, Melissa Vlasak, who can connect you. The three main areas are:
1)          Build it - Facility Expansion Committee (FEC), Fraser Hamilton, Chair
            Our next FEC meeting is Thursday, April 7th, from 6:30 - 8:00pm at the school.
2)          Fill it - Jennifer Ingraham, Marketing & Admissions Coordinator
            We are looking to expand our Volunteer Marketing Committee with anyone that has a marketing background. We need the Creative, Planning, and Executing type of people involved with branding, marketing, social media, and the website.
3)          Pay for it - Development & Community Relations Committee, Amanda Ross, Chair & Kelly Nelson, Capital Campaign Chair
            The Capital Campaign has been kicked off to the Board of Directors. Keep an eye out for details on how you can participate at the ground floor of this critical effort. More information to come soon!

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to MPA. Our community is the driving force behind all of our efforts. We simply cannot do it without you.