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Friday, June 20, 2014
Gulen Concept Schools closed down school in Minnesota then reopens under new name
(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.htmlFast 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
school plans to convert a nearly 50-year-old light industrial building in St.
Paul into an elementary school focused on math and science.
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
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.
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
Plan Learning will own the building, and the Minnesota Math and Science Academy
will be the tenant, Bora said in an e-mail interview.
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
did not have a lot of options,” he said.
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.
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
9.5 percent of charters use space owned by related nonprofits, as is the case
with the Minnesota Math and Science Academy.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
said the renovation is costly and time-consuming but that the building allows
the school to create the facility it needs.
may convert the building to a school however you plan the school,” he said.