Cleveland Development Advisors and Boys Hope Girls Hope of NEO celebrated the opening of the new Rajan Academy Center in Garfield Heights on Saturday, June 1. The centerpiece of a recent $6 million capital campaign, the 11,000 SF state-of-the-art building was constructed as an addition to the recently acquired 11,500 SF gymnasium adjacent to the northern border of our Campus of Hope. The project was financed with help from a $6 million Federal New Markets Tax Credit allocation from CDA’s Cleveland New Markets Investment Fund alongside a $1 million Ohio NMTC allocation and a $2.2 million capital campaign bridge loan from the Advance Cleveland Development Fund.
The new building brings the organization’s Academy Program under one roof and allows more than 200 Scholars to participate in an empowering home-like atmosphere fostering a sense of pride from middle school through high school. The Rajan Academy Center features an art room, science labs, college preparatory tutoring, study spaces, counseling areas and open spaces for Scholars to develop holistically each day and develop life-long relationships.
As part of the project improvements to the former Ss. Peter and Paul School gymnasium were also made, creating countless opportunities for their Scholars to access safe and healthy physical wellness activities. Renovations include the addition of a multipurpose fitness room, replacement of the existing roof, new heating/cooling handlers, cosmetic improvements to the bathroom facilities and several energy-efficiency updates.
Unlike many enrichment programs, Boys Hope Girls Hope provides long-term support to its residential and academy program scholars following students from as early as 6th grade through high school graduation. The continued relationships build trust and engagement helping the program achieve 100% High School graduation rates and 78% College persistence.