MAYOR BOWSER, THE MENKITI GROUP, COMMUNITY LEADERS, PARENTS, AND STUDENTS CELEBRATE THE GROUNDBREAKING OF THE EARLY CHILDHOOD ACADEMY PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL
New Southeast school will provide a state-of-the-art, holistic learning environment for 300 young students
October 4, 2018, WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday Mayor Muriel Bowser joined The Menkiti Group and Early Childhood Academy Public Charter School to mark the ceremonial groundbreaking for the new 38,000 square foot state-of-the-art school building, slated to open in August 2019.
The new Early Childhood Academy (ECA) school building is located at 885 Barnaby Street, SE, and consists of a repurposed former church with a new, modern addition to bring the school’s learning, activity, music, administrative, and multi-purposes spaces all under one roof. The school currently operates from two disparate, non-school use centers on adjacent properties.
The project, which is being financed through a combination of ECA PCS funds, grant funding from the Office of the State Superintendent, DC Government facilities allotments, and federal New Markets Tax Credits, marks a milestone for new development in the Washington Highlands neighborhood. The deal was structured as a unique lease-to-own arrangement in which ECA PCS has acquired the site from The Menkiti Group to build equity for the future.
Mayor Muriel Bowser addressed the crowd of attendees from ECA, including members of the Board of Trustees, school administration, teachers, aides, students, parents, project stakeholders and partners, and members of the Washington Heights neighborhood by talking about the impact the new ECA will have on the community, stating “This is going to be the learning space and play space that the students, families, and staff at ECA deserve,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “When we invest in our school facilities, we’re investing in the future of our students and communities.”
In addition to Mayor Bowser, speakers included, Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White, Sr., Wendy Edwards, Executive Director of ECA, Dennis Sawyers, President of the Board for ECA, Thann Ingraham, Principal for ECA, and Mark Rengel, Menkiti Group VP of Development and Project Manager for the ECA project.
At the groundbreaking Menkiti Group Founder and CEO Bo Menkiti also addressed the crowd, offering his reflections on the project, stating: “The Menkiti Group is proud to have this opportunity to develop and deliver not just another transformative development project to the Washington, DC community, but one that truly exemplifies our mission of transforming lives, careers, and communities through real estate. We are particularly pleased that the new Early Childhood Academy will allow young students the opportunity to have a safe, holistic learning environment as soon as the doors open next year, and for many generations in this neighborhood to come.”
ECA Executive Director Wendy Edwards, who has been with ECA since 2005, the first year that the school was in operation, shared her thoughts on the milestone occasion: “After 14 years housed in two small community centers, we are thrilled that our students at Early Childhood Academy Public Charter School will start the 2019-2020 school year in the beautiful and spacious, brand new facility that they deserve.”
Many local organizations, financial institutions, and government leaders played a role in developing this project. Partners in the project include: DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education; Low Income Investment Fund; City First Bank; City First Enterprises; Chase Bank; United Bank; Industrial Bank; Cohn Reznick LLP; TenSquare; Cox Graae + Spack Architects; Meridian Construction; Built Environment Engineers; M.A. Design Group; Robert Silman Associates; DMY Capitol; A2 Services; Dan Triman, LEED AP+; CDKM Consulting; McKeever Services; New Columbia Solar, and DC SEU. Project progress is available at MenkitGroup.com/development.