NewSchools Venture Fund Grants $1.5 Million to Civic Builders, Inc.

February 24, 2004

NEW YORK – February 24, 2004 – Civic Builders, New York City’s first nonprofit developer of charter school facilities, today announced a $1.5 million grant from NewSchools Venture Fund, a venture philanthropy firm based in San Francisco, California. The grant is part of NewSchools’ Charter Accelerator Fund, a $40+ million initiative focused on fueling the supply of charter schools nationwide.

The challenge of finding – and financing – an appropriate facility is one of the greatest challenges facing charter school developers, especially in a competitive real estate market like New York City. Solving that challenge will be crucial for the New York City public education system, particularly as Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein work to create 50 new charter schools over the next five years, as announced in October 2003. Civic Builders is stepping in to this niche, bringing community development skills to the charter school movement.

“New York City’s schoolchildren deserve access to a high-quality public education in a safe, productive learning environment,” said Kim Smith CEO of NewSchools. “We believe that Civic Builders’ work is an important stride forward, getting charter schools out of the real estate business and allowing charter school leaders to focus on instruction. Their innovative model will also serve as an example for other cities looking to increase their supply of charter schools.”

“Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Klein have committed unprecedented political and financial support to charters schools. NewSchools is making it possible to capitalize on this ready climate, and we are enormously grateful for their support,” said CEO of Civic Builders David Umansky.

Civic Builders relieves charter school administrators of the burden of real estate concerns, and addresses the wide scale need for increased charter school capacity, by purchasing and renovating facilities for charter school occupancy. Civic Builders has worked with more than half of New York City’s current charter schools.

Dan Deckman
Coordinator of Communications and Special Projects
Civic Builders
Phone: 212.870.3146
Email: [email protected]