An award of $5 million in new market tax credits will help the York Academy Regional Charter School expand to educate students through eighth grade.

The tax credits were awarded by the Community First Fund, based in Lancaster, to Kinsley Properties, which owns the grounds where the charter school's expansion will occur.

Dan Betancourt, the chief executive officer of the fund, said the charter school was chosen to receive tax credits because of its projected positive impact on the community.

"We get to see an opportunity for young families in York to attend the charter school," Betancourt said. He added that the high quality of education in the school will benefit families of varying income levels.

James Pastore, the chief academic officer at the charter school, said that the tax credits provide "sound footing" for the expansion plans that are in place.

"That's good news for the city," Pastore said.

The plans: Pastore said that the award will go toward the school's plans to build additional classrooms and a new gymnasium and cafeteria to support the growing number of students. The school has students through fourth grade this year, and will expand to eighth grade as the students pass each grade level.

Timothy Kinsley, vice president of development at Kinsley Properties, said the company is awaiting a building permit approval from the city of York. He hopes to finish that process by October.


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Kinsley also said the company plans to demolish an existing building adjoining the school's property in late September. That area will be the site of the future school expansions.

Betancourt at the Community First Fund explained that the award will not be a dollar-for-dollar match with the tax credits. Instead, Kinsley Properties will receive a percentage of the total lending amount. That in turn will be credited to the academy for some of the construction costs. Betancourt estimated the school will receive about $1.25 million that can be budgeted for the expansion.

Kinsley said the company first started working with the charter school because of Kinsley Properties' dedication to education.

"We think the charter school has a compelling mission, and it is a great asset to the city," Kinsley said.

Pastore said he is grateful to the fund for its support of the York community.

"The fact that they're putting this together for the children of York is investing in York County," he said. "That's a wonderful thing."

Nikelle Snader may also be reached at nsnader@yorkdispatch.com.