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August 10, 2019
Dear BFCCPS Parents & Guardians:

Over the last few weeks at 500 Financial Park we have seen tremendous progress towards completion of the project. The team has been taking care of a variety of details including paving and landscaping throughout the property, new signage inside and out, whiteboard installation, fire alarm testing, phone and technology installation, the very exciting delivery of our classroom furniture, and so much more. There is so much going on on the property every single day; we can’t wait to share it with all of you personally! 

Today we performed a Ribbon Cutting ceremony in the company of our partners at Citizens Bank and MassDevelopment, along with representatives of the school’s leadership team, the Educational Foundation, Board of Trustees, the Parent Community Organization, parents and students.  

We are pleased to provide an update on the funding and construction of the gymnasium. We learned in early July that BFCCPS has been awarded a federally funded $600,000 grant through the Charter School Significant Expansion Program. This grant will be used to purchase technology and furniture for the new building enabling us to reallocate funds from the project budget towards the construction cost of the gymnasium. Additionally, over the last few months the BFEF and BFCPS Leadership Team have been in close coordination with our partners at Citizens Bank and our lending partners to provide detailed review of our project finances and our enrollment data; they have agreed to accelerate the release of funds for the second phase of the construction project. We are thrilled to announce that construction of the gymnasium is slated to begin in October, 2019 with completion of the project expected in the spring of 2020.

Over the last few years the Parent Community Organization has graciously contributed $10,000 designated for the school’s playgrounds and has pledged another $15,000 this year. 500 Financial Park will offer two playgrounds; there will be a “tot-lot” for Kindergarten through Grade One and a Grade Two through Five playground. Parental feedback expressed concerns regarding rubber surface materials and we wanted to confirm that the surface material used in both areas will be engineered wood fibers, which are wood chips built especially for playgrounds. The students also had the opportunity to present feedback on playground options. We think they will be pleased with the items on order; please visit http://bfccps.org/parents/playgrounds-at-500-financial-park/ for a look at the plans and placement of the two playgrounds. 

Students in Grades Six through Eight will have access to the school fields during their daily 25 minute recess. They will also have access to the tetherball set which was purchased by the BFCCPS Student Council as a class gift as well as the basketball hoop, gaga ball pit and picnic tables that we brought along from 201 Main Street.  

Thanks to the incredibly generous support of the community the recent BFEF Gala raised a total of $29,508 for the playgrounds and gymnasium at 500 Financial Park. When combined with previous fundraisers including personalized brick sales and the 50/50 raffle the Capital Campaign Committee has raised a total of $66,897.

While no additional investment from the community will be required to complete the construction of the gymnasium, the Benjamin Franklin Educational Foundation will be reaching out to all parents to help us close the gap between the total cost of the playgrounds and fundraising to date. 

As always, we thank you in advance for your generous financial support of the school’s educational foundation.  
With best regards,

Heather Zolnowski     
BFCCPS Executive Director       

Donald Tappin                        
President, Benjamin Franklin Educational Foundation
The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School
500 Financial Park, Franklin