OAKLAND, CA, November 13, 2014—Vincent Academy and BRIDGE Housing today will celebrate the groundbreaking of a new permanent home for Vincent Academy at 3:30 pm at 2501 Chestnut Street in Oakland. Vincent Academy is a tuition-free charter public elementary school offering rigorous academics, enrichment activities and after school and summer programs; BRIDGE is a nationally recognized nonprofit developer, owner and manager of affordable housing.
The new building, which will allow the school to expand to serve up to 350 students in transitional kindergarten through fifth grade, will be completed in time for Vincent Academy’s 2015 summer program. It is located adjacent to BRIDGE’s Chestnut Linden Court Apartments and in proximity to more than 700 affordable apartment homes developed or revitalized by BRIDGE.
“Through this partnership, Vincent Academy and BRIDGE have an unprecedented chance to create a true ‘neighborhood of opportunity’ in West Oakland—where families have quality affordable housing, children are academically successful, families can access quality services, and the community stabilizes and thrives,” said Vincent Academy Founder Jean Driscoll.
“Through our partnership with Vincent Academy, we are addressing two systems—housing and education—that affect the ability of children and families to achieve their full potential,” said BRIDGE Housing President and CEO Cynthia Parker. “We’re proud to play a role in this important community development work that has far-reaching impact.”
Funding for the $9.5 million project includes a New Markets Tax Credit investment by Chase, a loan from the Low Income Investment Fund, and contributions raised through the Vincent Academy-BRIDGE Campaign for West Oakland. The architect is Siegel and Strain Architects and the general contractor is Charles Pankow Builders.
Among the expected speakers at the grand opening: Kate Nicol, Head of School, Vincent Academy; Oakland City Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney; Margaret Zuberi, Vincent Academy parent; Corinne Ingrassia, Chase; Liz Tracey, Low Income Investment Fund; and Cynthia Parker, BRIDGE Housing.