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Independence Charter School (ICS)

An award-winning, public charter school, serving 740 students in grades K to 8.

  • ICS sought to relocate from an office building without space for growth, recreation space, and agreed to take over a developer’s purchase obligation for the Durham School property.*
  • After eight months of due diligence and design, ICS’ Board of Trustees voted to abandon the project because it was $3,500,000 over budget.
  • At the request of school counsel to explore alternative development approaches, Steve Gendler led a redesign and repricing effort that resulted in the renovation of the existing 56,000 SF building and new construction of a 16,000 SF classroom addition. Gendler's strategy reduced the project cost by $4,000,000, and increased the number of classrooms, enabling ICS to boost enrollment and increase revenue.
  • Construction was completed on schedule and under budget, with over $400,000 in construction contingency funds returned to the school. The favorable financial structure and outcome allowed ICS to build up a capital reserve and consider further facilities expansion.
  • The new school facility, with operable windows, abundant daylight and outdoor playspace, created an improved learning environment, contributing to better academic performance, fewer absences due to illness, and fewer discipline problems.

*Real estate transaction by Steve Gendler at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.