For Immediate Release
August 19, 2016
Menlo Park Academy Receives $4.6 Million Award from Ohio Facilities Construction Committee
Menlo Park Academy (MPA) was notified on Thursday, August 18, 2016 that it was one of the eight schools across Ohio that has been conditionally granted requested funding by the Ohio Facilities Construction Committee (OFCC) in its inaugural granting cycle supporting high performing charter schools in facility expansions and building opportunities.
MPA completed the rigorous grant application in June 2016 tied to the renovation of the historic Joseph and Feiss Clothing Company building on W. 53rd in Cleveland, OH. The school had purchased the building in early 2015 and is working with a variety of public and private sources to fund and complete the $16 million dollar project. The OFCC grant of $4.6 million dollars will be instrumental in allowing MPA to realize the goal of developing a facility that will become a model for gifted education not only in Northeast Ohio, but nationwide.
Menlo Park Academy, founded by parents in 2008, opened in two locations in two counties with 38 students. It has been housed in the former St. Mel’s school building on Triskett Road in Cleveland since 2009. In its first year at this location the school utilized half of the second floor, this fall the school will welcome over 400 students from 41 different school districts from across Northeast Ohio. The renovation of the W. 53rd building will allow the school to grow into a 21st century learning environment of nearly 80,000 square feet, green space for students and faculty, and nearly double the enrollment capacity for gifted learners in Cleveland and surrounding areas. According to Teri Harrison, MPA’s Board Chair, ”Gifted children have severe limitations in school choice since Ohio’s schools are required to identify them with no obligation to provide any specialized services. The renovation of this building will provide these at-risk learners with an educational option that is designed to serve their needs. ”
With only 12% of Cleveland’s school-age children offered the opportunity to attend a high performing school, MPA’s two-year partnership with Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the central Cleveland location of the W. 53rd property will provide another strong educational option for children and families in the city’s urban core. “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the OFCC on this important building renovation project, which will be transformational to the neighborhood and allow MPA to help address the nationally-underserved urban gifted population.”
As the grant is a matching grant, MPA was afforded an opportunity to double every dollar committed to the project from our community. This support through a capital campaign as well as committed Federal New Market and Federal Historic Tax Credits illustrates the support of the school and local community and their commitment and investment in the school’s mission.
Institutional Advancement Director
Menlo Park Academy
Phone: (440) 925-6365
Picture shown courtesy of Michelle Jarboe/The Plain Dealer