The Grove Park Foundation’s (GPF) mission is to connect and restore several historic Westside Atlanta neighborhoods that have suffered from decades of disinvestment and environmental degradation. GPF’s main priorities are building a cradle-to-college education pipeline, developing affordable and mixed-income housing, and improving access to health and wellness services. In pursuit of that mission, GPF secured NMTC financing for the construction of Woodson Park Academy, a new 115,000 sq. ft. public school that serves 900 K-8 students.
The school is operated by KIPP Metro Atlanta but serves as a neighborhood school open to all students in the Woodson Park Academy zone and adheres to Atlanta Public Schools (APS) student discipline policies. The new school consolidates and expands two of the city’s lowest-performing elementary schools (one scoring in the bottom 2 percent of schools in the state).
Woodson Park Academy is one component of a larger Purpose Built Community revitalization plan that includes the construction of a 23,000 sq. ft. YMCA that includes a 2,500 sq. ft. health clinic at the 10-acre site. KIPP, APS, and GPF have actively engaged the community throughout the development process to ensure the project is responsive to community needs. A new YMCA and community health center, which was financed as a separate NMTC transaction, will complete the site, providing the neighborhood with a community hub it currently lacks.”
Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc. (AEMI) and SunTrust Community Capital provided a combined $21 million in NMTC financing, with SunTrust Community Capital as the investor. Other financing sources include a capital campaign led by GPF and $17.5 million of E-SPLOST funds from the school district. NMTC financing was essential to GPF’s effort to revitalize the community.
KIPP provides a longer school day and year, increased math and English time, more elective classes, and new parent engagement opportunities, including a Family Resource Center. The school also partners with the YMCA to provide extracurricular and pre-K programs. The school expects to eventually employ 120 employees. Woodson Park Academy is expected to complete construction in late November 2020.