U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and Representative John Carney today announced a total of $200,000 in U.S. Department of Agricultural (USDA) funding to help the MOT Charter School in Middletown, Delaware, expand by an additional 19,000 square-feet. The USDA Community Facility Direct Loan will support the addition of a library, two classrooms and a gymnasium.
"Public charter schools -- with the support of strong leaders, skilled educators, eager students and encouraging families -- can help propel our students to a brighter, stronger future," Senator Carper said. "Along with that support system it's imperative that our students learn in a nurturing environment, which includes modern school facilities. This grant will help ensure that MOT Charter School will have the resources necessary to make improvements to meet the needs of a growing student body and provide its pupils with a well-balanced curriculum. I will continue to work with my Congressional colleagues, the Administration, and the local Delaware community to support similar projects that help advance charter schools' mission of innovation and excellence in our public education system."
"In order to cultivate the next generation of inventors and business leaders, we must provide our students with the resources they need to reach their fullest educational potential," Senator Coons said. "All Delaware students deserve to attend a school that meets the highest standards of learning and fosters an environment for creativity. This USDA loan will have a tremendous impact on expanding several critical areas of MOT Charter School, including STEM and the arts."
"Ensuring that our children receive a quality education is one of my highest priorities," Congressman Carney said. "We must continue to improve our education system and prepare Delaware students to succeed in a 21st century global economy. This loan will help provide facilities for our children and teachers that are critical to a positive learning environment."
"Ultimately the expansion of the MOT Charter School supports the education of our children, but it also supports the Obama administration's goal to help our local economy by keeping construction and trade jobs in place and ongoing," Jack Tarburton, USDA Rural Development State Director, said. "This year, we have four times the amount of funding available to help projects like this that support education and other essential facilities. Projects can range from a library, fire and rescue building and equipment, health clinic, hospital, senior center and more."
In addition to its 32 regular and specialized classrooms, the original school was designed with one multipurpose room that is used as a gym, lunchroom, and auditorium. Renovations have been underway since June 2011 to expand the library and allow more room for books, as well as a student learning space and technology center. A new gymnasium will have seating for 750, and two new classrooms will house STEM and additional electives.
The expansion was funded in FY 2011 with $2,775,000 in USDA Community Facility Direct Loan and the most recent subsequent $200,000 Community Facility Direct Loan. Parent contributions and capital fundraising also helped finance the expansion.
The MOT Charter School was built in 2002 with USDA Rural Development funding providing $3 million in Community Facility Direct Loan. WSFS also provided a $3 million loan guaranteed by USDA Rural Development. The school now educates 675 students in grades K-8.