NMTC Case Study for Legacy Charter School
Non-profit Legacy Charter School, a public K-12 charter school located in Greenville’s Sterling community, is constructing and renovating over 210,000 sq. ft. of school facilities to include the school’s first formal library, a renovated kitchen, new classrooms, a new gymnasium and handicap accessibility for the property. With total project costs of $26.9 million, The Innovate Fund provided $13.7 million of Qualified Low Income Community Investments (QLICIs) to be used for new construction.
Established in 2010, Legacy Charter has 1,200 students, of which 94% are minority and 100% participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Legacy’s founder William Brown states that the school “began from the notion that all students deserve the chance to receive a world class education, one where they are taught how to lead a healthy life.” As such, Legacy Charter is the only school in South Carolina to implement a Wellness Policy that includes: 60 minutes of physical activity per day, including 45 minutes of physical education; school breakfast, lunch and dinner program, including no fried foods, junk foods or sodas on campus; six-week summer food service program; and safe routes to school program. These activities were implemented to combat the fact that, nationally, 65% of students do not participate in physical activity and only 2% of children eat a healthy USDA diet.
The Innovate Fund’s investment will expand the student body from 1,200 students to 1,430 students. This is critical in a neighborhood that at closing was ranked as the 8th most dangerous in the U.S. (Neighborhood Scout). It will also support 323 direct jobs, with permanent jobs paying a wage 328% higher than the LIC’s per capita income of $5.73 per hour. Permanent jobs will also come with the following employment benefits: enrollment in the SC Retirement System; eligibility to participate in the State of South Carolina Employee Healthcare System; up to $17,500 of Teacher Loan Forgiveness; and up to $6,500 in performance pay through the Teacher Advancement Program.