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Fall River school receives tax-exempt bond to buy building

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Photo courtesy of Argosy

FALL RIVER, Mass. – MassDevelopment has issued a $9.8 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of the Argosy Collegiate Charter School Foundation Inc., an affiliate of the Argosy Collegiate Charter School, which used proceeds to buy the school’s longtime building in Fall River. Argosy currently serves students in grades 6 through 12 in the 53,000-square-foot school building, located on 2.11 acres of land at 240 Dover Street and 53 Snell Street in Fall River, since 2017. The tax-exempt financing allowed the school’s foundation to buy the building from Charter School Development Corporation and lease it back to the school, ensuring a long-term home for the school and reducing costs for the organization. Hills and Mills Securities Corporation, an entity of BankFive, purchased the bond, which MassDevelopment enhanced with a charter school loan guarantee.

“High-quality educational institutions are fundamental to empowering students and developing the next generation of the Commonwealth’s dynamic and talented workforce,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “With MassDevelopment’s tax-exempt bond and loan guarantees, we are able to support independent and charter schools looking to buy real estate, build new facilities, and secure their future for the long term.”

“This deal marks an exciting new chapter for the Argosy Collegiate Charter School community, ensuring students can continue their educational journey at their current campus for years to come and helping the school save money in the long term,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “MassDevelopment is proud to play a role in helping Argosy buy its longtime school building in the Gateway City of Fall River.”

“Since 1855, BankFive has existed to serve the needs of the Fall River community,” said BankFive President and CEO Anne Tangen. “Argosy has been a great partner and customer, we are thrilled to be part of this initiative, participate in their growth and support their success as they help develop our future leaders.”

“This bond will enable Argosy School to continue serving Fall River students well into the future,” said Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan. “Argosy is an important piece of our community’s educational ecosystem and I thank MassDevelopment for their support, which will benefit Fall River’s youth for decades to come.”

Argosy Collegiate Charter School is a tuition-free public charter school that received its charter on February 25, 2014, which is subject to renewal in five-year increments at the discretion of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The school’s charter was previously renewed and its current charter is effective from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2024.

“We would not have been able to purchase our school building without the help of MassDevelopment,” said Argosy Collegiate Charter School Board Chair Paul Burke.

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.

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