Apr 19 2002
DOVER, DE - Senator Tom Carper today proudly announced a $2.7 million loan guarantee secured by the St. Joseph's Project Foundation to revive the school's grounds and return them to the community. The new facilities will provide a home for the Providence Creek Academy Charter School, house community groups, and create more than two dozen new jobs for the area. There are no other comparable community centers in lower New Castle or upper Kent County. "For five years I've worked with the team at the Foundation towards a shared vision. The enormous potential of the grounds at St. Joe's will now be realized and our families will have a place to call home," said Carper, who has been involved with the project since its inception. "Securing this funding means that Providence Creek Charter School is on track to open in the fall, and community groups will have a place to meet. This is a big win for Delaware families." The loan guarantee comes from the United States Department of Agriculture's office of Rural Development. The funds will be used to renovate four buildings and the surrounding areas for students and community groups. The facilities will house the Providence Creek Academy Charter School, slated to open next fall. The project will create thirty-two new jobs and will serve approximately four hundred eighty three students in kindergarten through sixth grades. "Senator Carper has been providing us with support and encouragement from the beginning. He helped us as Governor and has continued as U.S. Senator,"said Jim Gilliland, Director of the Saint Joseph's Project Foundation. "Without his support, we would not have been able to achieve our goals and share the dream with residents of Central Delaware." In 1997 the Saint Joseph's Project Foundation was created to acquire, renovate and place the facility back into service to the community and the surrounding area. In April 1998, the Foundation took control of the facility, successfully raising over $800,000 in state, local and philanthropic grants. "The USDA Guarantee of the Wilmington Trust Commercial financing is the last major element required to make our project a success and complete the renovation of space for the Providence Creek Academy Charter School," Gilliland said. "We will now be able to move on to developing the Agricultural Education and Experience Center and the Natural Resource Education Area along Providence Creek." Saint Joseph's at Providence Creek, formerly known as the Saint Joseph's Industrial School, is located on the west side of Clayton, Delaware. The site served as a residence trade school for disadvantaged boys from 1895 until the mid 1970's. Rich with historical significance, many of its structures are being considered for placement on the historical register. Providence Creek School spans approximately 300 acres and contains 10 buildings with 60,000 square feet of interior space.