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Hellenic Classical Charter Schools Expansion and Bond Deal
Recently, the Hellenic Classical Charter Schools (of Brooklyn and Staten Island “HCCS”), through the Friends of the Hellenic Classical Charter Schools, closed on a $44 million bond deal through the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s “Build NYC” program.
HCCS is authorized by The New York State Education Department Board of Regents and has two campuses. HCCS-Park Slope (HCCS-PS), established in 2005, is a Pre-K – 8 National Blue Ribbon School, and HCCS-Staten Island (HCCS-SI), established in 2018, is replicated in its likeness.
HCCS-SI has an existing 23,000-square-foot lease at the 1641 Richmond Avenue site for its current grades Pre-K – 2 that was signed in 2019. The HCCS Board of Trustees and its real estate firm, Avison Young, negotiated to expand its relationship with the Holy Trinity Community via this new long-term ground lease on a portion of the land adjacent to their existing building, located at the intersection of Richmond Avenue and Victory Boulevard.
HCCS plans to build a new school building at this newly leased Staten Island location that will total 48,000 square feet and house grades 3-8. The new facility will be equipped with classrooms, specialty rooms, an auditorium, and a high-tech library. HCCS-SI renewed the existing 23,000 square foot leased space to coincide with the term of the new building ground lease.
In addition, HCCS-PS will improve its already state of the art structure to include HVAC, elevator and other leasehold improvements which will increase their student’s experiences.
“The Build NYC bond closing is another great accomplishment in HCCS’s storied sixteen year history” said Charles Capetanakis, HCCS Board Chair. “First and foremost, we were able to receive this financing based on HCCS’s high academic achievement as evidenced by our Brooklyn school’s status as a National Blue Ribbon School. We are thankful for the help of our community and government partners in undertaking this project but and most of all, we are thankful for our students, families, teachers, and staff for their steadfast dedication to HCCS’s academic excellence.”
“We see a bright future for our students,” said Nick Leonardos, HCCS Treasurer. “Together with a tremendous team of professionals, HCCS is on its way to building another incredible structure and is set on continuing its academic and fiscally sound success.”
“There’s a blessing with each new accomplishment that one can make and this is the appropriate time to make it and the blessing goes as follows: We thank our maker for allowing us to share in this great day. May we continue to make this blessing,” said HCCS Secretary & Education Chair, Harvey Newman.
James Merriman, New York City Charter Center, stated “Hellenic’s ability to tap the capital markets and find stable and affordable financing is partly a function of New York’s rightful commitment to providing leasing assistance to public charter schools. But in a world where a charter is provisional and must be renewed periodically, it is also clear the children of Staten Island will enjoy the opportunity for a great education in a building that is consummate with their hopes and dreams because of the amazing team of educators that Hellenic has assembled—a record of success that has been an essential component of bringing this deal to a successful close. This is yet another example of the mix of talent and energy that charter schools are bringing to New York City’s public education landscape.”
“This marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in our school’s history,” said Christina Tettonis, HCCS Superintendent. “We look forward to continuing to provide an exemplary education to our children in a state-of-the-art building in Staten Island and making key building enhancements to our Park Slope school building. Thank you for the on-going dedication of our entire HCCS family in making this possible.”
“It requires a great team, tremendous strength and devotion to make a dream a reality and we couldn’t be prouder,” said HCCS Chief of Operations, Joy Petrakos. “HCCS provides students in grades pre-kindergarten through eighth with a rigorous, classical education, rich in challenging classics content. Our education model uses a standards-based curriculum, coaching, and intensive academic support to promote intellectual curiosity and independent learning. Supported by an exemplary teaching staff, students are prepared to succeed at the best high schools in New York City upon graduation.”
The school’s culture and philosophy of student learning ensures high-level critical thinking and communication skills. Students in all grades regularly participate in Paideia (Socratic) seminars in which they have conversations developed by open-ended questioning, respecting their peers’ thinking, building on others’ ideas, listening closely, and responding to viewpoints other than their own.
All students study the language, history, art, and other cultural aspects of Greece, and middle school students receive Latin language instruction as part of their classical education. Other enrichment programs include an Ancient Greek Theater program and the History Day Fair (HDF) program. These students travel to Greece to research topics connected to their studies. HDF’s team competes annually on city, state and national levels.
The Hellenic Classical Charter School continues to exceed the averages on the New York State English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science Examinations. HCCS is very proud of its 100% graduation rate. Graduates attend the best New York City public high schools, including Stuyvesant, Staten Island Technical, Brooklyn Technical High, Leon Goldstein and Midwood Medical High Schools as well as other high performing private High Schools such as Xaverian High, Xavier, Fontbonne Hall Academy and Notre Dame High Schools and other competitive schools.
The entire HCCS community is very proud of this amazing accomplishment and want to thank and acknowledge the hard work of both the schools’ faculty, students and families. This transaction would not be possible without the amazing teamwork, support and dedication of the entire HCCS family and thus is celebrated by all.