“As they say nothing is easy, but getting First State Military Academy up and running simply would not have happened without the dedication and support of the NCALL Loan Fund. Truly this was a win -win for Kent County and for Delaware." Scott Kidner, President, FSMA Board of Directors
The need for capital to finance community development projects is acute on the Delmarva Peninsula, as evidenced by the recent growth of NCALL’s Loan Fund. Whether for housing, community facilities or neighborhood revitalization, the loans receivable on our balance sheet have increased by 140% since FY 2013, and the pipeline of new loans continues to grow. But the balance sheet does not show the Loan Fund’s full impact. It doesn’t show the funding provided by other lenders for these crucial projects. This funding, referred to as participation loans, has increased by 430% over the last two fiscal years, and this trend is projected to continue in FY 2016. The balance sheet of course also does not show the amazing impact NCALL’s loans are having on people, nonprofit borrowers, and communities in need.
Loan participations fill the gap between the amount of funding a project needs and the amount that is available from the Loan Fund. These participations help by sharing loan risk and complying with concentration limits, but the main reason is to address the demand for financing. Eight participants were involved with Loan Fund projects at the end of FY 2015, totaling $8.6 million of the Fund’s $23.5 million loan portfolio. $7.5 million of the Loan Fund’s nearly $12 million of loans committed to close at fiscal year-end are slated for participation to other lenders.
Banks often participate with the Fund as a means to be involved in community development projects and CDFIs participate as part of the collaborative nature of the industry and with the shared goal of improving their communities. The number of participants in a loan varies, often dependent upon the size of the loan. The First State Military Academy (FSMA), the largest loan ever closed by NCALL at $6.3 million, included six participants. The participants include the other Delaware-based CDFIs (Cinnaire and First State Community Loan Fund), Partners for the Common Good, The Bank of Delmarva, Barclays Bank Delaware and Fort Sill National Bank in Oklahoma. The funding was used for acquisition and rehab of the property. USDA Rural Development will provide permanent financing.
FSMA is a full-time Marine JROTC Charter High School. It is an independent, co-ed, tuition-free charter public school open to students across the state. The school is located in Clayton, DE at what was formerly the site of St. Joseph’s Industrial School which had opened in 1896 and closed in 1972; the site had mostly been vacant since then. The campus is located on 35 acres and has 7 buildings (54,000 square feet) of which three are on the National Register of Historic Places. In order to get the property ready to open in September of 2015, substantial renovations and upgrades needed to be done. Now 200 students are enrolled at FSMA and their goal is to increase this amount to 500 by 2019.
"As they say nothing is easy, but getting FSMA up and running simply would not have happened without the dedication and support of the NCALL Loan Fund. When we all started this adventure some four years ago, finding the financial support, along with the knowledge of funding something like this, would have been unachievable if not for NCALL's efforts. Their understanding of charter schools, as well as working with USDA, allowed us to focus on our classrooms, our new teachers, and our soon to be Cadets. Truly this was a win -win for Kent County and for Delaware," shares Scott Kidner, President, Board of Directors of FSMA.
NCALL is a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), certified by the U.S. Department of Treasury, and its Loan Fund has been providing community development lending opportunities and financial services primarily to nonprofit borrowers throughout the Delmarva Peninsula since 2004.
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