Funds to Support Operation of Northwest Program for Children in
PORTLAND, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 6, 2012--
U.S. Bank is contributing $100,000 to the operation of the Portland
Public Schools’ Early Learners Academy in northwest Portland. The
academy offers educational programming for preschoolers in an area with
limited options for families with young children. The donation comes at
a time when the Portland Public School District, like others across the
state, faces a significant gap between its operating budget and its
ability to maintain current service levels.
The donation is being made through a limited partnership formed by U.S.
Bank and Turtle Island Development LLC to develop and own the Ramona
Apartments. The Ramona provides high quality affordable housing,
especially targeted to families with children, close to jobs, services,
parks, and transit. The Early Learners Academy is located on the first
floor of the Ramona.
“At U.S. Bank, we take great pride in strengthening communities and
empowering those who live and work in them,” said Malia Wasson,
president for U.S. Bank in Portland. “Supporting programming that helps
low-income and at-risk students succeed in school and prepare for
ongoing educational opportunities is just one way we help meet the
diverse needs of our communities.”
Students attending the Early Learners Academy, located at 1545 NW 13th
Street, are some of the 115 children living in the 138 apartments at the
Ramona, are residents of the surrounding community and Old Town/China
Town, or are homeless and living in the attendance area of Chapman
School in Northwest Portland and Boise-Eliot
schools in North
U.S. Bank helped to finance the $50 million development of the Ramona
Apartments in late 2009, providing $27.5 million of permanent funding
through a letter of credit on publicly marketed bonds and Low-Income
Housing Tax Credit equity from U.S. Bancorp Community Development
Corporation. U.S. Bank also served as a construction lender on the
development and provides Corporate Trust, Remarketing, and Deposit and
Treasury Management Services. Additional financing for the Ramona was
provided by the Portland Housing Bureau.
Portland Public Schools leased space in the Ramona to serve the growing
number of families with children in northwest Portland, particularly
those in the more than 1600 units of affordable housing built with city
support in the area, and many of whom are as far as two miles from
Chapman Elementary. The Early Learners Academy offers educational
programming in partnership with Neighborhood House including
pre-kindergarten, Early Head Start, and Head Start.
“Our goal is to ensure that every student succeeds, and getting early
learners off to a strong start to their education is important,” said
Portland Public Schools’ Superintendent Carole Smith. “We’re grateful
for U.S. Bank’s partnership, which will help us serve early learners and
their families, even as we grapple with reduced state funding.”
Despite financial hardship, Portland Public Schools is a district that
is strong and stable by many measures. As noted in Smith’s 2012-2013
Budget Message, enrollment is growing, student achievement is improving,
and the achievement gap is narrowing.
About Portland Public Schools
Founded in 1851, Portland Public Schools is the largest school district
in Oregon, serving more than 47,000 students from pre-kindergarten
through high school. PPS is one of the rare urban school districts
nationwide whose students regularly outperform the state average on
achievement standards. In addition to highly trained teachers and staff,
Portland Public Schools benefits from community, state and national
partnerships, as well as strong family support.
About U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation
U.S. Bank is a recognized leader in financing a variety of community
development initiatives. U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation,
the tax credit investment subsidiary of U.S. Bank, finances community
development and affordable housing projects through the use of New
Markets, Historic, Low-Income Housing, and Renewable Energy Investment
Tax Credit Programs. These equity investments have provided much needed
revitalization and new resources to communities throughout the country.
About U.S. Bank Commercial Real Estate
U.S. Bank Commercial Real Estate specializes in providing creative
credit and non-credit financial solutions for real estate developers,
REITs, and commercial property owners across the United States. U.S.
Bank offers such services as construction/development lending, property
acquisition lending, refinancing, single and multi-family development,
lines of credit, and syndications. With existing loan commitments of
more than $25 billion and an employee base of 400 professionals in 24
offices, U.S. Bank Commercial Real Estate builds long-term relationships
designed to help American businesses grow.
About U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank is the largest bank in Oregon with a legacy dating back to
1891. U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $353 billion in assets as of June
30, 2012, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the fifth-largest
commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 3,080 banking
offices in 25 states and 5,085 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of
banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment
services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. U.S.
Bancorp and its employees are dedicated to improving the communities
they serve, for which the company earned the 2011 Spirit of America
Award, the highest honor bestowed on a company by United Way. Visit U.S.
Bancorp on the web at www.usbank.com.
Source: U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank Public Relations
Teri Charest, (612) 303-0732
Public Schools Public Affairs
Matt Shelby, (503) 916-3027