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Da Vinci Schools Awarded $52.7 Million to Complete World-Class High School Facility

November 25, 2014 -- We are thrilled to share that the state of California awarded Da Vinci Schools $52.7 million through its Charter School Facilities Program. These funds will be used to complete the new world-class high school facility at 201 N. Douglas Street in El Segundo, in partnership with the Wiseburn Unified School District. This collaboration between Da Vinci and Wiseburn is a national model for serving children, and this award exemplifies the great outcomes available for students when adults work well together.


The new facility will house Da Vinci Communications, Da Vinci Design, and Da Vinci Science and is scheduled to open for the 2017-2018 school year.

Da Vinci's application for matching funds ranked 4th overall and was one of five projects selected to receive funding by the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC). The OPSC received 72 charter school applications, of which 61 were deemed eligible for consideration for the $89.9 million pool of money. Da Vinci was eligible for the state matching funds as a result of the passage of Wiseburn's Measure AA in 2010, with overwhelming community support. This $52.7 million award provides Da Vinci Schools and Wiseburn Unified School District sufficient funds to complete most of the $137 million project, though furniture, fixtures and equipment may not be purchased using these facilities funds.

We are obviously very excited about this award and humbled by its underlying premise; what we are all doing together is making a difference for kids and our school community. This grant is only made possible by the tremendous effort, passion and devotion that our team gives each day to ensure our students graduate college-ready, career-prepared, and community-minded. We thank all of you, especially our faculty and staff, for your dedication and uncompromising commitment to excellence.

With regard to this particular award, we wish to acknowledge several people who worked very hard and well to acquire these construction monies: First and foremost, we must acknowledge Chet Pipkin, the president of the Da Vinci Schools Board of Trustees, for whom this award would not be possible without his savvy and leadership.

As one can imagine, this application process was complex and demanding. The following people are to be commended for their expertise and tenacity: Vince Madsen, Wiseburn's Director of Facilities Planning, who quarterbacked this project along with an impressive team of experts, including: Shin Green and Michael Riemenschneider of Eastshore Consulting; Cheryl King and Evelyn Shafer of Jack Schreder and Associates; Dave Walrath of Murdoch, Walrath & Holmes; and Jim Bush and Michelle Collins and team at School Site Solutions.

Tom Johnstone, Superintendent of Wiseburn Unified School District; Chris Jones, Deputy Superintendent of Wiseburn; Dave Wilson, Wiseburn's Chief Business Official; and Carla Levenson, Da Vinci's Director of External Relations, provided much needed expertise and data in order to assemble the application package. Everyone mentioned above reprioritized their schedules to address the numerous questions, calculations, and data sets required by the various agencies vetting our application.

We are especially grateful for the leadership of the Da Vinci Board Trustees (Chet Pipkin, Don Brann, Israel Mora, Brian Meath, Jennifer Morgan, Cheryl Cook, and Art Lofton) and the Wiseburn Board Trustees (Roger BaƱuelos, Nelson Martinez, Israel Mora, Dennis Curtis, and JoAnne Kaneda), and for the tremendous support of the Wiseburn citizens who approved an $87 million school bond measure in 2010 in support of the Wiseburn's newest campus.

We also wish to express our deep appreciation and admiration for Gensler, the most innovative architecture and design firm in the world. Gensler has designed a world-class facility for 21st century learning and a community landmark at 201 N. Douglas Street. Additionally, we wish to thank our Da Vinci Board of Regents, a prominent group of community members who support Da Vinci in countless ways and bring the real-world to life for our students.


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