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$22 Million MassDevelopment Financing Package Helps New Bedford's Alma del Mar Build New School

December 8, 2015


​Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)

Will Gardner, Alma del Mar, 508-542-7153

A rendering of the new facility (photo courtesy of Alma del Mar)

MassDevelopment has provided nearly $22 million in financing – a $12 million New Markets Tax Credit allocation and a $9.76 million tax-exempt bond – for Alma QALICB and the Alma del Mar Foundation, related entities to the Alma del Mar Charter School in New Bedford. Alma del Mar is using proceeds to build a 43,460-square-foot building to house all of its students in one facility. The school had added modular spaces to its current building to accommodate more students, but even the additional space could not hold more than 280 students. The school is chartered for 360 students and plans to increase enrollment to 450 students. The new building will have classrooms, special education spaces, a library, cafeteria, gym, offices, and science and technology labs. Alma del Mar expects the project to create 20 jobs and 89 construction jobs. Boston Private Bank and Trust Company purchased the bond, and MassDevelopment also enhanced the financing with a charter school loan guarantee.

“Housing all of its operations in one place will allow Alma del Mar to educate more students in New Bedford more efficiently,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We’re pleased to help this high-performing charter school improve educational opportunities and create jobs in a Gateway City.”

Alma del Mar opened in 2011 and currently serves 280 scholars in kindergarten through sixth grade. The school will expand to offer grades kindergarten through eighth grade in the next two years. The mission of Alma del Mar is to set New Bedford children on the course to college and to challenge them to become service-minded leaders. Alma del Mar features a longer school day, a longer school year, mandatory uniforms, high expectations for all scholars, and outstanding teachers from across the country.

“This will be a building that is worthy of the high-quality work that our scholars do every day,” said Alma del Mar Executive Director Will Gardner. “Our expansion would not be possible without the support of MassDevelopment.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2015, MassDevelopment financed or managed 294 projects generating investment of more than $2.5 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 6,100 jobs and build or rehabilitate about 2,000 residential units.