South City Preparatory Academy in St. Louis, MO, will increase student capacity by 209 percent over the next four years as a result of moving to a larger facility beginning this fall. Originally opened as a charter middle school in 2011, South City Preparatory Academy always planned to find a future site for a high school or a bigger building to accommodate all students.
For six months, IFF worked closely with South City Preparatory Academy on identifying a building, developing a financial feasibility strategy, and comparing different financing scenarios. Through the new location, the school will create 10 full-time and two part-time positions and replace a closing high school in a neighborhood identified as a high-need area by an IFF schools study. South City Preparatory Academy’s student body is 90 percent African American and 90 percent eligible for free or reduced lunches.
IFF’s $1.9 million in financing will cover buying South City Preparatory Academy’s new home and making minor improvements to the main building. In 2015-2016, the school will convert a separate building on the site into a gym and plans to build additional classrooms as needed. Previously, in 2011 and 2013, IFF provided $345,000 in loans to help the school buy equipment and renovate leased space.