IFF is the only one-stop shop in the Midwest offering affordable financing and real estate services at every stage of school development.
Strenthening Schools Across the Midwest
IFF was among the first community development financial institutions in the nation to provide below-market rate financing specifically for charter schools and has gained national recognition for its innovative use of U.S. Department of Education credit enhancement grants to finance charter school projects.
Schools in certain markets can rely on IFF for help with the full spectrum of their real estate needs—IFF’s expertise ensures projects are well-planned, well-placed, and well-constructed.
Through its public policy and research initiatives and technical assistance to charter school authorizers, IFF is a recognized leader in strengthening school reform efforts and improving the landscape in which today’s schools operate.
View this short video to learn how IFF helped KIPP Charter
School close achievement gap and improve their neighborhood in St. Louis
IFF is excited to announce the launch of the Indiana Charter School Facilities Loan Fund, made possible through funding from the State of Indiana.
A few highlights of the schools we've been proud to work with across our 5-state region are below:
||Charter School of the Dunes, Gary, Indiana
IFF provided an $817,500 credit enhancement to the Charter School of the Dunes (CSOTD) to help them construct a new 65,000 square foot facility. With the help of IFF’s credit enhancement, CSOTD secured an $8.3 million loan from BMO Harris Bank toward the $13.5 million project within a New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) structure. JPMorgan Chase is the NMTC investor and National New Markets Fund provided the NMTCs.
The new facility will be LEED™ Silver certified and consist of administrative offices, a gymnasium/auditorium, a cafeteria, library, art room, environmental lab, sciences labs, special education space, and 27 classrooms. Their new building will allow CSOTD to better serve its current 425 students and allow for growth of up to 700 students.
||City Garden Montessori School, St. Louis
When City Garden Montessori decided they needed a new school building, they hired IFF to help determine their long term space needs as well as their debt capacity and ability to obtain financing.
IFF also helped structure a $5 million New Markets Tax Credit transaction to fund the rehab of a former industrial facility. It was a complicated transaction that included a $500,000 loan from IFF, a NMTC allocation, and federal and state historic preservation tax credits. With funding in place, IFF issued an RFP to hire an owner’s representative to ensure the project was completed on-time, on-budget, and to the school’s satisfaction.
In August 2012, City Garden Montessori welcomed 130 students, with plans to expand to 250 students in grades K-8, to its new 29,000 square foot LEED™ Certified building that was designed specifically for the Montessori Method.
||Hogan Preparatory Academy, Kansas City, Missouri
With the help of a $250,000 equipment loan from IFF, Hogan Preparatory Academy (Hogan Prep), who has operated a high school since 1999, opened its first middle school in August 2011.
IFF congratulates Hogan Prep for the local and national attention the school recently received. Due to its outstanding performance last year, the school received a 2010 College Board Inspiration Award for their college-preparation programs and partnerships among teachers, parents, and community organizations. Hogan Prep was one of only three schools across the country to receive the annual award. Hogan Prep also won the Missouri Charter Public School Association (MCPSA) Charter School of Excellence Award for the past two years.
Hogan Prep serves a 98 percent minority and 80 percent low-income student population. Last year, 100 percent of Hogan Prep's graduates were accepted into college.
||LEARN Hunter Perkins Campus, Chicago
In September 2011, LEARN Charter School Network celebrated the grand opening of their Hunter Perkins Campus—the Network’s fifth campus, located in Chicago's Auburn Gresham neighborhood. To help finance the project, IFF provided the Network with a $1 million energy efficiency loan. The loan allowed LEARN to make significant renovations to a vacant parochial school building that included several cost-saving “green” features.
Watch a video or read more...
||Noble Network of Charter Schools, Chicago
IFF has assisted Noble in all aspects of its facility and financing needs, including front end planning, finding suitable sites for its campuses, negotiating the lease or purchase of sites, overseeing design, and providing oversight during construction.
||The School District of New Berlin, New Berlin, Wisconsin
The School District of New Berlin – a school district in southeast Wisconsin – hired IFF’s Real Estate Services in Wisconsin to complete a strategic facilities plan. They wanted an objective third party to take a close look at all of their buildings to help them plan for the effective and efficient use of their facility and financial resources.
IFF took a data driven approach to the study, visiting each of the district’s seven school facilities as well as two facilities not currently in use as schools. IFF performed a detailed assessment of each facility’s physical condition, analyzed enrollment and market trends, and estimated all the costs associated with necessary improvements to the facility. In its final report, IFF provided comprehensive recommendations for improving each facility, a consolidation strategy, and priorities for facility renovation across the district.
||Seeds of Health, Veritas High School, Milwaukee
IFF has loaned $1.25 million to expand Veritas High School, part of the Seeds of Health charter school network, and provided real estate consulting services to help the agency locate, evaluate, and secure new homes for the middle and virtual schools. The 6,600 square-foot Veritas addition will allow 70 more students to join the top-ranked school. The new middle school space will accommodate 160 more students and the virtual campus will provide 300 students with an alternative to the traditional classroom setting. IFF’s financing for Veritas has been combined with funds from PAVE, a Milwaukee advocate for education. The Walton Family Foundation contributed funds to both the Veritas project and IFF’s real estate consulting services.
IFF Schools Borrowers and Clients
Academy for Global Citizenship
ACE Technical Charter School
Alain Locke Charter School
Amandla Charter School
American Quality Schools
Asian Human Services
Aspira Inc of Illinois
Betty Shabazz International Charter School
The Chicago Academy for Advanced Technology
Chicago Academy of the Arts
Chicago Charter School Foundation
Chicago Hope Academy
Chicago Jesuit Academy
Chicago Jewish Day School
The Chicago Math and Science Academy Charter School, Inc.
Chicago Public Schools
Chicago Virtual Charter School
Chicago West Side Christian School
CICS Rockford Charter School Organization
Community Capital Services
Community Christian Alternative Academy
Community Services West
Erie Elementary Charter School
Evanston School District 65
Galapagos Charter School
Galapagos Rockford Charter School NFP
Giant Steps Illinois, Inc.
Grace and Peace Community Church
Homan Square Power House
Illinois Network of Charter Schools
Instituto del Progreso Latino
Jane Addams High School
KIPP Ascend Charter School
L.E.A.R.N. Charter School
Legacy Charter School
Legal Prep Charter Academy
The Montessori Network
Montessori Private Academy, Inc.
Namaste Charter School
Noble Network of Charter Schools
North Lawndale College Prep Charter School
Northwestern University Settlement Association
Patriots Gateway Community Center
Perspectives Charter School
Puerto Rican Cultural Center
Steans Family Foundation
Telpochcalli School and Community Center
University of Chicago Charter School Corporation
UNO Charter School Network, Inc.
Village Leadership Academy
Vincent Gray Academy
Young Women's Leadership Charter High School
Youth Connection Charter School
Anderson Preparatory Academy
The Bloomington Project School
Carpe Diem Indiana
Charter Schools Development Corporation
The Charter School of the Dunes
Drexel Foundation for Educational Excellence, Inc
Duneland Charter School, Inc.
East Chicago Lighthouse Facility LLC
Galileo Charter School
Herron High School
Indiana Math and Science Academy
Indiana Schools of Excellence, Inc.
Irvington Community School
KIPP LEAD College Prep Charter School
Academie Lafayette Charter School
Brookside Day School
Carondelet Leadership Academy Charter
City Garden Montessori Charter School
Della Lamb Community Services
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Gateway Science Academy
Guadalupe Centers, Inc.—Alta Vista
Hogan Preparatory Academy
Jamaa Learning Center
KIPP Inspire Academy
North Side Community School
St. Louis Language Immersion Schools
South City Preparatory Academy
Carmen High School of Science and Technology
CEO Leadership Academy
Child Development Center of St. Joseph’s
Day Care Services for Children, Inc.
Downtown Montessori Academy
Highland Community School
Hmong American Peace Academy
HOPE Christian Schools, Inc.
Lighthouse Academies Wisconsin
Milwaukee College Preparatory School
Milwaukee Montessori School
Notre Dame Middle School
Risen Savior Lutheran School
School District of New Berlin
Seeds of Health, Inc.
St. Anthony School
St. Marcus Lutheran School
TransCenter for Youth
Urban Day School
V.E. Carter Development
To learn more about our schools work or to discuss our services, please contact Tanya Vartivarian, IFF's Director of School Services, at 866 629 0060 or via email.
Please click here to download a print-ready overview of IFF’s work for schools.