“We honestly would not be here today, owning our own building if it wasn’t for the gap funding provided by CRDC,” said Jorge Santana, PACE Career Academy Executive Director. “CRDC made the purchase of our new location possible.”
For Jorge, the past six months have been a whirlwind. What he thought was going to be a simple lease agreement for 6,000 sf of new space in a vacant commercial property in Concord, quickly turned into a purchase and sale agreement.
“We had seven days after receiving a certified letter from the building owner to match the sale offer he received,” added Jorge. “We are very thankful for Gene Calvano, a PACE Board Member who made the introduction to Jennifer Boulanger at CRDC.”
Founded in 2011 with 20 students, PACE Career Academy is a district sponsored public charter high school, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. The PACE mission is one that allows at-risk students to partner in the design of their academic, career and personal growth paths. The goal for these students is to develop the skills, both academic and personal, to become an essential part of their community, family, and professional worlds.
“PACE’s mission is in line with CRDC’s in supporting the workforce through the training of individuals for new careers,” said Jennifer Boulanger, CRDC Loan Officer. “Jorge and Gene worked hard to secure financing for the construction of the classrooms through NH Health an Education Facilities Authority (NH HEFA) under their Direct Loan Plus Program. As well, NH HEFA was able to partner with a Senior Lender (Eastern Bank in this case) to participate in the senior financing with an extremely low rate. CRDC was then able to provide $200,000 in ‘gap financing’ to partner with Eastern Bank/NH HEFA in supporting the purchase of the facility converting the leased premises to owned premises. We are happy we were able to assist PACE in this loan. The increase in space will allow them to reach their goal of 80 students.”
“We are entering the 2019-2020 school year with 55 enrolled students,” said Jorge. “Most charter schools need to continue to grow to maintain funding; but here, we decided to cap enrollment at 80 students. Our goal is keep the ratios small. We are very thankful for the way things turned out. CRDC, NH HEFA and Eastern Bank worked in collaboration and it really was an easy process. At closing, we had every single student sign a copy of the documents, so they had a sense of ownership.”
More About PACE Academy: PACE works with young people ages 14-19 that have not been successful at their home high school for a variety of reasons and currently has a rolling average enrollment of 50 students with 8 graduating in June 2019. The current enrollment represents students from Pembroke, Concord, Manchester, Hooksett, Allenstown, Epsom, Chichester, Franklin, Tilton, Northfield and Deerfield. The students either attend a morning session or an afternoon session in the classroom. Alternatively, they receive additional experience through their employment/internship.
Left to right: Jorge Santana, Executive Director, PACE Career Academy with Jennifer Boulanger, CRDC Loan Officer, Kevin Finke, VP, Eastern Bank, Rachel Carver, Career Experiences Coordinator, PACE Career Academy and Bonnie Payette, NHHEFA