$8.5M Helps Holyoke Charter School Expand

Tax-Exempt Bond from MassDevelopment & TD Bank Funds 20,000-Square-Foot Addition at Holyoke Community Charter School Featuring Gym, Classrooms & More

January 5, 2022

Matthew Mogavero, 857-248-0868

Photo of Holyoke Community Charter School, courtesy of the school

HOLYOKE, Mass. – MassDevelopment has issued an $8.5 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of Holyoke Community Charter School (HCCS), a public charter school in Holyoke serving students in kindergarten through grade eight. The school will use bond proceeds to build and equip a 20,000-square-foot addition to its existing 85,000-square-foot school building that will house a gymnasium, classrooms, restrooms, and space for storage and utilities. TD Bank purchased the bond.

“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to improving the learning environments and experiences of students in communities across the Commonwealth,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “MassDevelopment assists independent schools with the financial support they need to build new facilities and upgrade infrastructure.” 

“We’re proud to be a partner to Holyoke Community Charter School, which for the past 15-plus years has provided high-quality learning opportunities to students from diverse backgrounds in western Massachusetts,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “Our original financing in 2005 empowered HCCS to buy and equip its current facility, and now, with this additional support, the school will be able to expand its campus and deliver an improved educational experience for students and staff.”

Founded in 2005, Holyoke Community Charter School enrolls approximately 700 students in grades K-8. The mission of HCCS is to promote the joy of learning and to prepare children for success as students, workers, and citizens by providing them with a high-quality public education and striving to prepare them to enter colleges and universities that are of the best quality. HCCS students reside in Holyoke and other surrounding communities including Chicopee, Easthampton, East Longmeadow, Northampton, South Hadley, Springfield, West Springfield, and Westfield. Eighty-nine percent (89%) of HCCS students are Latino, and 67.5% of students are economically disadvantaged. The school provides dedicated departments for special education and English language learners as well as an accelerated curriculum for advanced students. It contracts with the SABIS® Educational System™ to manage operations of the school.

"I am excited to see the positive impact this bond will have on the students, families, and faculty that make up Holyoke Community Charter School,” said Holyoke Mayor Joshua A. Garcia. “When our students succeed, the community benefits."

MassDevelopment has previously supported Holyoke Community Charter School. In 2005, the agency issued a $5.6 million tax-exempt bond for the original purchase, renovation, and equipping of HCCS’ existing school building, and provided a $250,000 loan for technology equipment. In 2008, the agency issued an $8.4 million tax-exempt bond, enhanced with a charter school loan guarantee, to help HCCS refinance previously issued debt.

“MassDevelopment has been instrumental in the financial success of the Holyoke Community Charter School since its inception,” said Holyoke Community Charter School Board Treasurer Cynthia Dennis. “In addition to the initial tax-exempt bond, the MassDevelopment Charter School guarantee program allowed the school to refinance its debt in 2008 with an $8.4 million tax-exempt bond. Over these past sixteen years the school has paid off all its debts leaving it now able to build additional classrooms and an amazing gymnasium. Thanks again to MassDevelopment."

MassDevelopment, the state’s development finance agency and land bank, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2021, MassDevelopment financed or managed 416 projects generating investment of more than $1.86 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 6,578 jobs and build or preserve 1,909 housing units.