Updated legislation and a new framework for applications and evaluations aren’t the only changes on the horizon for Delaware’s charter schools.
At least one charter school — and perhaps as many as four — could be moving into the Community Education Building, formerly part of the Bank of America office complex, in downtown Wilmington in the fall of 2013.
The just-formed Community Education Building Corp. is now developing an application procedure for schools interested in locating in the nine-story building northeast of Rodney Square said Riccardo Stoeckicht, the corporation’s president. He hopes applications can be reviewed and approved in late summer through early fall, so successful applicants could petition the State Board of Education in December for the charter modification they would need to move to a new site.
Under the state’s regulations, only charter schools that are already operating or are approved to open next year could move into the building in the fall of 2013, Stoeckicht said.
The corporation is still working on the lease terms it will offer prospective charter schools, he said. Most likely, tenant schools would pay an annual rent based on square footage occupied and pay for interior construction work needed to turn their space into classrooms.
Also to be determined is whether the building will offer common space that could be shared by the tenant schools — for example, a gymnasium, auditorium, cafeteria and library, Stoeckicht said.
“Everything is being explored. Right now we’ve got a commercial, business-oriented building and we’re trying to assess what are the highest value-added items that could be added that could benefit charter schools,” he said.
Stoeckicht also said that lease arrangements would likely parallel those in the nearby Community Services Building, where dozens of nonprofits have office space and building management tries to serve as an advocate and partner for tenants, enabling them to focus on their mission.