A massive budget deficit has forced Gary, IN, to close public schools at a rapid rate, leaving a significant gap in programs for middle- to high school-aged students throughout the community. But in 2016, Steel City Academy opened its doors to 160 new 7th and 9th graders to help fill that gap, and IFF financing and real estate services supported the school’s expansion.
To meet its expansion goals, Steel City purchased the 29,000-square-foot former headquarters of The Arc of Northwest Indiana. Located very near Gary’s public transit routes, this new, fully ADA compliant school building provides easy access for students from across the city.
“Between its accessibility for local kids and its opportunity for expansion, Steel City is going to provide Gary’s students and families with the high-quality education they deserve,” said Andy Alt, IFF’s Director of School Services. “Steel City’s plans to eventually serve elementary, middle, and high school students will have great impact on the city’s current education climate.”
IFF provided both financing and real estate services to support the buildout of 10 new classrooms, additional office space, and necessary mechanical upgrades in time for the 2016-17 school year and continued working with Steel City to plan spaces for additional grade levels in time for the 2017-18 school year. The IFF-Steel City partnership continues as the school looks to expand to serve Pre-K through 12th grades over the next 8 years.